US Treasury Official Presses Hong Kong, Beijing On NKorea

26 January, 2018, 02:46 | Author: Julian Swanson
  • Singapore dollar surged to its highest in three years against the US dollar

President Donald Trump waded into the uproar over the USA currency on Thursday (Jan 25), saying he wants to see "a strong dollar", countering comments by his treasury secretary that appeared to signal the opposite and sent the greenback plunging to three-year lows.

Nevertheless, the dollar currency index (.DXY), which measures the USA currency against six other major currencies, fell by nearly 1% Wednesday afternoon to a three-year low, according to Reuters.

Mnuchin reportedly said that a weaker dollar is good for the United States economy as it will boost trade and opportunities.

The U.S. treasury chief welcomed a weaker dollar on Wednesday, breaking with a decades-long commitment by the U.S. government to back a strong dollar.

Ross, speaking alongside Mnuchin, says more measures at defending US commerce are in the offing.

The dollar weakened further Thursday as the euro climbed above $1.25 for the first time in more than three years. President Donald Trump is due to address the gathering in Switzerland on Friday.

Mnuchin said Thursday that he was not concerned by short term fluctuations in the dollar. "Perhaps Mnuchin will walk back his comments, but the message seems clear - this is what President Trump thinks and wants".

Pressed about Mnuchin's remarks, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said at a daily briefing in Washington: "We believe in a free-floating currency".

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross later told CNBC that his colleague was "not advocating for a weaker dollar", but he also struck a combative tone.

In contrast, Mr Trump said: "The dollar is going to get stronger and stronger and ultimately I want to see a strong dollar". In mid-2015, a dollar was worth 125 Japanese yen; that fell to less than 109 yen.

A weaker dollar, coupled with the Trump administration's protectionist trade policies, could have significant implications for global markets and economies. Shortly after the US Treasury Secretary and Trade Minister's comments on trade, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the WEF that multilateral collaboration is essential for the world's future.

For a quarter-century, U.S. treasury chiefs have espoused the benefits of a strong dollar, so it may be jarring for investors to hear a treasury secretary discuss the merits of a weaker one.

South of the border, USA stocks wobbled and finished mostly lower on Wall Street as technology companies including chipmakers dropped.

"The this point is in a relatively combative mode on trade arrangements", UBS Group AG Chairman Axel Weber told Bloomberg Television in Davos on Wednesday.



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