Trump says China is a 'grand champion' at manipulating its currency

Trump said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday he had not "held back" in his assessment that China manipulates its yuan currency, just hours after his new Treasury secretary pledged a more methodical approach to analysing Beijing's foreign exchange practices. Various ranges are still intact, but the dollar can't get much weaker without suggesting a capitulation. The euro was at $1.0597-0597, up from $1.0552-0552, and at ¥119.44-46, against ¥119.49-51. Further gains may be limited due to concerns over the French elections weighing on the currency. The Senate still has not confirmed Trump's nominees for Commerce secretary and the U.S. Trade Representative, and the president has yet to make numerous mid-level nominations at all three departments.

In another interview with the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Mnuchin praised the strength of the U.S. dollar, describing it as a "good thing" in the long run. The dollar fell broadly on Thursday, weighed down by a perceived lack of progress on USA tax reforms and public spending, while Wednesday's more-dovish-than-expected Federal Reserve meeting minutes also weighed on the greenback. USA crude prices were up 1.98 percent at $54.65 a barrel after US data showed a surprise decline in inventories, suggesting that a global glut may be ending after moves by OPEC to cut production. The Canadian dollar was last trading at C$1.3103 to the greenback, or 76.34 USA cents, stronger than Wednesday's close of C$1.3144, or 76.08 US cents. He also wants to deliver economic growth at rates not seen in more than a decade, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The International Monetary Fund said in July that it thought the yuan's value was "broadly in line with fundamentals".

CNBC pointed out that most independent analyses of Trump's tax plan, which he floated during the campaign, would benefit the top tier of earners and not the middle class. The U.K. voted in June to leave the European Union, an unexpected outcome that triggered a massive devaluation in the British currency.

Oil was helped higher after the EIA inventory report yesterday showed a smaller-than-expected build in United States crude inventories. Also on Thursday, Trump and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly offered sharply contrasting views on US trade with Mexico. Traders are allowed to buy or sell the yuan within 2 per cent of the currency's daily reference rate.

  • Zachary Reyes