Brazil’s Bolsonaro Rejects Trump’s Claim Of Currency Manipulation

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gestures during the International Youth Day celebration at Planalto Palace in Brasilia on August 16, 2019. AFP

 

President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday rejected US accusations that Brazil has weakened its currency against the dollar, instead blaming global factors, after Washington announced plans to reimpose tariffs on Brazilian steel and aluminum.

Bolsonaro’s remarks come after he was blindsided by President Donald Trump’s announcement Monday about tariffs, which also would affect Argentina.

Trump charged the Latin American countries with “presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies.”

“We are not artificially increasing the price of the dollar,” said Bolsonaro, who considers himself an ideological ally of Trump, outside his residence in the capital Brasilia.

“The world is globalizing — even the fight between the United States and China impacts the price of the dollar here.”

The Brazilian currency slid to a historic low of 4.27 reais to the dollar toward the end of November, prompting the central bank to intervene to prop it up.

Bolsonaro denied he was disappointed by Trump’s announcement, saying the case was “not closed.”

“For now, no tariff has been imposed — there’s only Trump’s promise on Twitter.”

He added: “I believe in Trump… we have an agreement, very cordial contact.”

Bolsonaro’s remarks come a day after official data showed Brazil’s economy — Latin America’s biggest — picked up pace in the third quarter, growing a better-than-expected 0.6 percent from the previous three-month period.

Gambia Removes Yahya Jammeh’s Image From Bank Notes

Families Of Jammeh's Victims In Gambia Demand 'Truth'
Former Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh

 

The face of former president Yahya Jammeh, which was printed on all bank notes in The Gambia, has been removed from new bills more than two years after his flight from the West African country.

With accusations piling up that Jammeh ordered dozens of assassinations, the central bank in Banjul, began distributing new 50, 100 and 200 notes in the local dalasi currency from Tuesday.

All the new notes have birds on one side and a variety of local scenes on the other, from a farmer in a rice paddy to a fisherman in a boat at sea.

Local rights activist Madi Jobarteh welcomed the change.

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“A national currency is not a personal property and the head of a sitting president should not be on that note,” he said.

“There are many Gambians who deserve to be on these notes because of their role and contribution in the struggle for independence and development of this country since independence,” he added.

Trader Alagie Kanteh told AFP the bank was “right in removing the image of the former president”.

“He is responsible for the killing of a lot of people in this country.”

Jammeh ruled the tiny state for 22 years after taking power in a bloodless coup in July 1994.

He was repeatedly re-elected in disputed circumstances until defeated in December 2016 by a relative unknown, Adama Barrow.

After a military intervention by other West African states, Jammeh bolted from his country and found refuge in Equatorial Guinea.

Human rights activists accuse his regime of torturing opponents, executions without trial, forced disappearances and rape.

A Truth Commission has since January been hearing evidence of the mayhem, including testimony from hitmen who said they carried out dozens of murders for Jammeh.

Just days ahead of a major Muslim holiday, central bank governor Bakary Jammeh said he expected strong demand for the banks notes, which will soon see old ones bearing Jammeh’s face taken out of circulation.

AFP

China Lacks Transparency Despite Not Manipulating Currency – US

 In this file photo taken on October 16, 2018, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin listens during a Financial Stability Oversight Council meeting at the Treasury Department in Washington, DC. Beijing is not a currency manipulator but China’s exchange rate practices and the yuan’s recent weakness are of “particular concern.” ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Beijing is not a currency manipulator but China’s exchange rate practices and the yuan’s recent decline are of “particular concern,” US Treasury Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.

In putting Beijing and five other US trading partners on notice, the Treasury again refrained from escalating a fight over China’s currency as US President Donald Trump had once pledged to do on the campaign trail.

“Of particular concern is China’s lack of current transparency and the recent weakness in its currency,” Mnuchin said in releasing a twice-yearly report to Congress on how country’s manage exchange rates and trade.

“These pose major challenges to achieving fairer and more balanced trade and we will continue to monitor and review China’s currency practices, including through ongoing discussions with the People’s Bank of China.”

Washington has long argued that China keeps its currency artificially low to make its exports more competitive but in recent years the yuan or renminbi (RMB) has strengthened and is viewed by economists as more in line with economic fundamentals.

Still, as US interest rates have risen, the US dollar has strengthened further, which makes American exports more expensive.

Washington and Beijing are locked in a battle over the yawning US-China trade deficit, which Trump describes as a job killer.

Washington has slapped punishing tariffs on about half of all China’s goods exports to the United States, with talks to resolve the matter at an apparent impasse.

Trump in April 2017 dropped his campaign pledge to label Beijing a currency manipulator, telling The Wall Street Journal that Beijing was not intervening to weaken its currency.

AFP

US Adds India To Currency Watch List With China

US Adds India To Currency Watch List With China
A close-up shot of a dollar bill. Photo: ATTA KENARE / AFP

 

The US Treasury added India to its watch list of countries with potentially questionable foreign exchange policies, joining China and four others, according to a report issued Friday.

Treasury said the “monitoring list” includes those “major trading partners that merit close attention to their currency practices.”

In addition to India, the semi-annual report to Congress names five countries that continue on the list from October: China, Germany, Japan, Korea and Switzerland.

Countries remain on the list for two report cycles “to help ensure that any improvement in performance versus the criteria is durable and is not due to temporary factors.”

While no major trading partner was found to be manipulating its currency, five of those on the list meet two of the three criteria, while China is included because “it constitutes a disproportionate share of the overall US trade deficit.”

The US has a deficit of $337 billion with China of a total global trade deficit of $566 billion, according to government data.

“We will continue to monitor and combat unfair currency practices, while encouraging policies and reforms to address large trade imbalances,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The Treasury report is required by Congress to identify countries that are trying to artificially manage the value of their currency to gain a trade advantage, for example by keeping the exchange rate low to promote cheaper exports.

The report said India, which has a $23 billion trade surplus with the United States, “increased its purchases of foreign exchange over the first three quarters of 2017,” although the rupee still rose in value.

And while China — which is at the center of a brewing trade dispute with Washington — remained on the watch list, Treasury said “the Chinese currency generally moved against the dollar in a direction that should” help reduce China’s trade surplus with the United States.

Germany also remained on the watch list, even though it is part of the European currency union, which means it cannot independently control the exchange rate for the euro.

Even so, the report notes that Germany “has the world’s largest current account surplus” and has made “little to no progress in reducing this massive surplus the past three years.”

Treasury called for all the countries on the list to implement economic reforms to address their surpluses.

AFP

Focus on issues biting the economy not N5000 note – Wale Oluwo

Wale Oluwo the CEO of the investment banking BGL Group and Bismarck Rewane; CEO Financial Derivatives Limited reacted to the controvery over the introduction of N5000 note.

On the part of the CEO of the BGL Group; he feels it is not an issue that is supposed to be debated now for there are other issues eating up the economy of Nigeria right now.

N5000 note Controversy: It is a non-issue – Bismark Rewane

Wale Oluwo the CEO of the investment banking BGL Group and Bismarck Rewane; CEO Financial Derivatives Limited reacted to the controvery over the introduction of N5000 note.

Bismarck said he feels there’s so much time wasting as it is a non-issue.

On the part of the CEO of the BGL Group; he feels it is not an issue that is supposed to be debated now for there are other issues eating up the economy of Nigeria right now.

Currency Trading:How you can choose a good broker

Talking currencies on Business Morning,our presenter Esther Ugbodaga had currency analyst Esther Oyana come in to enlighten investors on how they can get a good broker.