Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s apparent endorsement of a weaker dollar in the near term is a bullish signal for gold investors because of the precious metal’s inverse relationship with the greenback.
“Obviously a weaker dollar is good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities,” Mnuchin told reporters in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum, according to Bloomberg. The currency’s short term value is “not a concern of ours at all,” he added. Mnuchin’s comments, highly unusual for a Treasury Secretary, pushed the currency to its lowest level in three years.
The Treasury Secretary and other Trump Administration officials, hoping to boost exports, have been encouraging a lower dollar to make U.S. goods and services less expensive to overseas trading partners. Gold, denominated in dollars, also becomes cheaper to foreign investors.
The precious metal has a long history of moving inversely to the dollar and recent action confirms the relationship. After the dollar’s recent peak last December 14, it declined more than 5-1/2 percent against the Euro through January 26, a huge move for a currency in such a short period of time. Gold, meanwhile, climbed more than 8 percent.
Mnuchin tempered his remarks by stating, “Longer term, the strength of the dollar is a reflection of the strength of the U.S. economy and the fact that it is and will continue to be the primary currency in terms of the reserve currency.” But his comments about the short-term dominated sentiment in the foreign exchange market.
The risk of a weaker dollar is that it could undermine confidence in U.S. assets, such as bonds and stocks.