Singapore dollar climbs to 3-year high against USD after Mnuchin's remarks

A WEAKER DOLLAR IS GOOD FOR THE US, SAYS TREASURY SECRETARY MNUCHIN

The remarks were seen by markets as departing from traditional U.S. currency policy and elicited thinly veiled warnings from European finance ministers, as U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Davos to promote his "America First" agenda.

Oil retreated as the US dollar rebounded from early losses and strengthened, denting support for the latest crude rally.

"I hope not. But history tells us that if there is a move which impacts trade towards more protectionism in one country then the temptation for the other partner to do the same or to retaliate is very high and increases, so things may get out of hand", Padoan said in an interview.

"Obviously a weaker dollar is good for us, it's good because it has to do with trade and opportunities", Mnuchin said.

"Currently we have a very stable dollar because of how well the United States is doing, and it's as powerful as it's ever been", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday at a briefing in Washington. More US companies and banks have said that they will look to invest more and create more jobs, following the tax cuts.

The US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, said that he had met the British worldwide trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox, to discuss stronger trade relationships.

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Trump too has signaled his preference for a softer dollar. That's the potential implication of a comment today from Mnuchin.

"The first serious economic misstep by the Trump Administration is the inexplicable decision to talk the dollar even lower", Valliere said in a note to clients on Thursday.

Mnuchin said the U.S.is not seeking to use the currency as a weapon in any trade war but that the USA government will do all it can to bolster US business.

In a LinkedIn post on Thursday, Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, took issue with Mnuchin's comments as well.

While a strong dollar is conventionally viewed as good for the American economy, a weaker currency can help exporters as goods are comparatively cheaper in foreign markets, and it also boosts the bottom line of USA multinationals when their sales in local currencies are converted to dollars.

"Steve, thanks very much", Hammond told U.S. Treasury Sec.

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On Thursday, Mnuchin tried to reverse course.

The dollar was relatively stable in European trading Thursday morning after taking a battering on the back of Mnuchin's comments Wednesday, with analysts suggesting it looked part of the Trump administration's "America First" policy to help U.S. exporters.

Mnuchin also attempted to play off the comment as merely a more honest answer than previous Treasury secretaries were willing to offer.

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.

James Hughes, chief market analyst at AxiTrader, said Mnuchin's comments could possibly be seen as White House spin from the Trump administration.

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