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Turkish lira slightly weaker after sources say U.S. to impose sanctions

·1 min read

ISTANBUL, Dec 11 (Reuters) - The Turkish lira weakened slightly on Friday after sources said the United States was poised to impose sanctions on Turkey over its acquisition of Russian S-400 air defence systems, a move set to worsen ties between the two NATO allies.

The lira was at 7.900 against the U.S. currency at 0619 GMT, dipping from Thursday's 7.89 close. It has tumbled 25% this year but rebounded from a record low of 8.58 last month after top economy policy makers were replaced.

The U.S. move, likely to infuriate Ankara and weigh on ties as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office, is set to be announced as early as Friday and target Turkey's Presidency of Defence Industries, sources said.

The lira weakened as far as 7.9290 on Thursday evening after Reuters reported the sanctions were imminent.

Separately, European Union leaders agreed on Thursday to prepare limited sanctions on Turkish individuals over an energy exploration dispute with Greece and Cyprus, postponing any harsher steps until March.

Shying away from a threat made in October to consider wider economic measures, EU leaders agreed a statement that paves the way to punish individuals accused of planning or taking part in what the bloc says is unauthorised drilling off Cyprus. (Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Dominic Evans)