Trump says Russia, China playing ‘currency devaluation game’

US President Donald Trump accused Russia and China of devaluing their currencies while the United States raises interest rates. (AFP)
Updated 16 April 2018
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Trump says Russia, China playing ‘currency devaluation game’

  • Trump accuses Russia and China of devaluing their currencies on Twitter
  • Trump’s tweet referred to what he sees as unfair trading advantages

Washington: US President Donald Trump accused Russia and China on Monday of devaluing their currencies while the United States raises interest rates.
“Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game as the US keeps raising interest rates. Not acceptable!” Trump said in a Twitter post.
Trump’s tweet referred to what he sees as unfair trading advantages: if a country’s currency is artificially low, its exports are more competitive. Higher US interest rates would generally increase the value of the dollar, making US exports more expensive.
Since Trump took office in January 2017, the dollar has weakened substantially against most currencies, including the Chinese yuan and, until the US imposed sanctions on Russia in the last few weeks, the ruble.
Against the yuan, the dollar has fallen by 8.6 percent since Jan. 20, 2017, while it has appreciated 4.5 percent against the ruble. Until the US announced sanctions on Russian oligarchs earlier this month, however, the dollar had weakened by nearly 4 percent against the Russian currency. That gain was entirely erased by a two-day drop of 8.4 percent in the ruble on April 9 and 10.
More widely, the US dollar index, which measures the greenback’s value against a basket of major trading partner currencies, has declined by 11.2 percent since Trump became president.
The US Treasury, in a semi-annual report on Friday, again refrained from naming any major trading partners as currency manipulators. The report came as the Trump administration pursues potential tariffs, negotiations and other restrictions to try to cut a massive trade deficit with China.
The report did not mention Trump’s recent threats to impose billions of dollars worth of tariffs on Chinese goods over Beijing’s intellectual property practices, or pending Treasury restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States.


Kobe Steel posts first profit in three years despite data fraud scandal

Updated 24 sec ago
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Kobe Steel posts first profit in three years despite data fraud scandal

TOKYO: Kobe Steel, Japan’s third-biggest steelmaker, on Friday posted its first annual profit in three years, even after admitting to falsifying quality data, a scandal that affected hundreds of customers and hit Japan’s manufacturing prowess.
Kobe Steel reported profit of ¥63.19 billion for the year ended March 31, against a loss of ¥23.05 billion a year earlier.
The result was above its own forecast of ¥45 billion and an estimate of ¥49.56 billion among seven analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
The company predicted a ¥45 billion profit for the year to March 2019, compared with a mean profit forecast of ¥44.62 billion from six analysts.
Kobe Steel, which supplies steel and aluminum parts to manufacturers of cars, planes and trains around the world, admitted to supplying products with falsified specifications to more than 600 customers and admitted the data fraud has been going on for nearly five decades.