President Donald Trump said he has not ruled out measures tocounter the dollar's strength and noted that while it was a“beautiful thing” to have a strong currency, it makes U.S. exportsmore expensive.

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“I didn't say I'm not going to do something” on the dollar,Trump told reporters Friday in the Oval Office. “The dollar is verystrong, the country's very strong, the dollar—it's a beautifulthing in one way, but it makes it harder to compete.”

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Hours earlier, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said onCNBC that the administration had “ruled out any currencyintervention” following a meeting with the president and hiseconomic team.

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Two people familiar with the matter said the meeting was focusedon trade. Part of the agenda included a discussion of Trump'sconcerns about the impact of a strong dollar, the people said.

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During the Tuesday meeting—which the White House didn't includeon Trump's public schedule—officials weighed proposals to publiclytalk down the dollar's value or weaken the greenback by interveningin currency markets using Treasury's $94 billion exchangestabilization fund, the people said. They asked not to beidentified discussing the confidential discussions.

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The president has repeatedly raised concerns recently about thevalue of the dollar relative to trade competitors. He tweeted thismonth that Europe and China are playing a “big currencymanipulation game” and called on the United States to “MATCH, orcontinue being the dummies.”

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During the meeting, White House trade adviser and China hawkPeter Navarro was among the officials advocating for a currencyintervention, the people said, while Kudlow and Treasury SecretarySteven Mnuchin opposed the idea.

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But one person familiar with the meeting said Trump hasn't madea firm decision not to intervene in currency markets at some pointand that the option remains under discussion, a point that Trump'ssubsequent comments in the Oval Office appear to corroborate.

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The White House has held multiple meetings about the strength ofthe U.S. dollar and how to address it, several people familiar withthe matter have said.

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'Dependable Dollar'

“Just in the past week, we had a meeting with the president andthe economic principals, and we have ruled out any currencyintervention,” Kudlow told CNBC in an interview on Friday. “Thesteady, reliable, dependable dollar is attracting money from allover the world.”

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The Bloomberg dollar index extended its gains after Kudlow'sremarks, touching a one-month high.

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Kudlow said Trump is concerned that other countries may bemanipulating their currencies lower to try to gain short-term tradeadvantage. “That we do not like,” he said. “But it's not a questionabout bringing down the dollar.”

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Wall Street has produced a stream of analysis recently on theprospects of intervention, in which the White House instructs theTreasury to sell dollars to drive the greenback's price down.Historically, the Federal Reserve has partnered with the Treasuryin interventions, though it has policy independence and isn'tobliged to join in.

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Mnuchin has called a strong dollar good for the U.S. economy inthe long term and said he wouldn't advocate for a weak-dollarpolicy in the near future.

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“I do believe in a strong dollar, which signifies a strong U.S.economy, a strong stock market, and particularly because of thepresident's economic policies, we have growth in the U.S. that hasoutpaced everywhere else,” Mnuchin said earlier this week.

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— With assistance from ShawnDonnan.

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