Eurozone values strong dollar talk

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Eurozone values strong dollar talk

News Article Date: Wednesday 21st of October 2009

Officials in the euro area took seriously US commitments to prevent the dollar from depreciating too much, European Central Bank (ECB) president Jean-Claude Trichet said yesterday. "We all note with considerable attention the statements made by American authorities as regards their support in favour of a strong dollar," Trichet said after a meeting of European finance ministers. The ECB chief also echoed the Group of Seven statement that "excessive volatility and disorganised developments in the exchange market is bad for economic development". The euro has gained almost 20 percent against the dollar since February, making the region's exports more expensive to overseas buyers and threatening the recovery from a recession. US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said at the beginning of this month it was "very important" for the US to have a strong dollar. Jean-Claude Juncker, the Treasury Minister of Luxembourg, who led the meeting of euro zone finance chiefs, said the ministers "discussed exchange rates extensively", adding: "It's a problem that worries us". French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said: "We want a strong dollar, we need a strong dollar." Trichet added: "We reaffirm a shared interest with our partners of the major floating currencies that we have a solid and stable currency system." Juncker said he would travel to China with Trichet and EU monetary affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia before the end of the year to discuss currencies. Juncker reiterated that the European economy was still too weak to remove record low interest rates and spending programmes put in place by EU governments. "There are clear signs of recovery, but there's still a balance between the positive and negative signs," he said. If European Commission forecasts due next month showed a "genuine recovery", then stimulus measures should "be gradually withdrawn" starting in 2011, Juncker said. The euro zone economy barely contracted in the second quarter as Germany and France returned to growth.
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