Team Trump talks taxes, trade and the dollar in Davos

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The dollar has extended losses today following comments made by US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin at Davos that a weaker dollar is "good" for US trade.

Mr Mnuchin said he "welcomed" a weaker USA dollar as it would be good for "trade and opportunities".

"A strong dollar has been very harmful and been going way too long", he said.

Toady, after weeks of the Colombian peso strengthening as crude prices held high and the dollar taking an abrupt tumble amid market-moving comments by the US treasury secretary, the Andean nation currency hit its strongest level against the greenback in more than two years. "It's not a shift in my position on the dollar at all".

For a quarter-century, USA 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.

"(The) size of the delegation to Davos this year is testament to the scale of Trump's work over the past year", Mnuchin said.

The sell-off in the greenback especially hit exporters on Japan's Nikkei index, which tumbled for a second straight day, although dollar-priced oil and gold extended gains. The US response to such fears of a trade war breaking out was reflected in the Treasury Secretary's remarks at a media briefing on Wednesday when he said that "anyone who wants to do trade with us on a reciprocal basis is free to do".

All Africa Music Awards to pay tribute to jazz legend Hugh Masekela
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Investors had interpreted Mnuchin's remarks on Wednesday as a green light to sell the greenback amid an aggressive push by President Donald Trump to ramp up the nation's exports.

Two of President Trump's top officials have landed in Davos, and they're already preparing the ground for their boss's big speech on Friday. "The dollar is of all currencies a floating currency and one where value is determined by markets and geared by the fundamentals of U.S. policy". US manufacturers import components to produce value-added goods like machinery and aircraft that are exported.

Turning to Mr Mnuchin, he added: "And we seem to be recovering quite a bit more, Steve, thanks very much".

He said the United States administration was "monitoring the discussions", adding: "We want to see a successful transition".

"The forum and the context are crucial in sending a message that at a minimum, the USA views dollar weakness as benign and in the short term, potentially even favourable", said Alan Ruskin, global co-head of foreign exchange strategy at Deutsche Bank.

"It just means that President Trump is looking out for American workers and American interests no different than he expects other leaders would look out for their own".

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