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After Trump's inauguration, people will pile back into the dollar, expert predicts

The U.S. dollar will probably head higher after President-elect Donald Trump takes office, but expect a good deal more volatility going forward for the greenback, currency expert David Woo told CNBC on Thursday.

The dollar rallied after Trump's victory in November, but it began retreating in January in what Woo called nothing more than "profit taking."

"I suspect the day after the inauguration, I think you're going to start to see people piling back into the long dollar trade, because I think the fundamental story is really very compelling," the head of global rates and currencies research for Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

Those fundamentals include higher consumer confidence, Trump's fiscal reform and a China that is now sounding more conciliatory, Woo explained.

However, he thinks Trump's presidency is actually a "contradiction" for the U.S. dollar. Fiscal policy, which should bring growth back to the country, should be bullish for the dollar. However, Trump's trade policy requires a weak dollar, Woo noted.

Therefore, the currency will be "much more volatile going forward than we've seen in many years."

Earlier in the week, Trump shocked the currency market when he told The Wall Street Journal that the dollar is too strong.

His nominee for Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, however, appeared to contradict those remarks in his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday.

"The U.S. currency has been the most attractive currency to be in for very long periods of time. I think that's important, and I think you see that now more than ever," Mnuchin said.

He also said when Trump made that comment about the strong dollar, "it wasn't meant to be a long-term comment. It was meant to be that perhaps in the short term, the strength in the currency as a result of free markets and people wanting to invest here may have had some negative impacts."

The U.S. dollar index was up slightly on Thursday.

— CNBC's Linda Sittenfeld contributed to this report.