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Singapore dollar hits 3-year high against greenback on US Treasury Secretary's comments
THE Singapore dollar hit a three-year high against the US dollar as equity markets fell and gold rose after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that a weaker greenback would be positive for the US economy.
The US dollar traded at S$1.305, down S$0.0067, as at 1.01pm. It last traded at S$1.305 on Dec 17, 2014.
The yen, which strengthened past 109 yen to a dollar for a short while, traded at 109.00 yen, down 0.51 yen as at 1.02pm.
Meanwhile, the US dollar traded at 0.8043 euro, down 0.0063 euro; gold was up US$13.72 to US$1,363.43 per ounce as at 1.03pm.
Singapore shares entered the afternoon session 0.7 per cent lower on Thursday, with the Straits Times Index down 26.59 points to 3,582.65 as at 1.03pm.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped 151.31 points or 0.46 per cent to 32,807.38.
In other regional equity markets, the Nikkei 225 was down 271.51 points or 1.13 per cent to 23,669.27, while the FTSE China A50 Index was down 183.33 points or 1.23 per cent to 14,661.25.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, Mr Mnuchin said that "obviously a weaker US dollar is good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities" and its short-term value is "not a concern of ours at all". His comments were seen by markets as a departure from traditional US currency policy, Bloomberg said.
OCBC said: "With the inexorable slide in the US dollar, one lingering question on investors' minds is why the Fed policy normalisation and President Trump's trade protectionism didn't lend much near-term support."
"With US President Trump set to take the stage tomorrow at Davos, being the first American president to do so in 18 years, expect more trade and foreign exchange rhetoric to be forthcoming," OCBC added.