Ministers play down ‘currency wars’ talk

MOSCOW — Finance ministers of the G20 group of nations have dampened speculation of a currency war, as they gather for a meeting in Moscow.

The value of a country’s currency has a big impact on its trade and there are fears countries are trying to influence markets to help boost their economies.

The Japanese yen has seen a big decline, while the euro has risen against a basket of currencies.

The G20 has previously asked nations to refrain from market intervention.

Earlier this week, the G7 group of nations issued a statement saying they would not set targets for exchange rates of their currencies.

Yesterday, Anton Siluanov, finance minister of Russia, the host of the G20 meeting, said it, too, was likely to issue a similar communiqu√.

“The language may differ [from the G7], but the intent will remain the same,” the minister was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency.

That was echoed by Germany’s Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, on German radio. He said he was confident of a joint agreement, expressing the official line.

“We do not want state intervention in exchange rates. We want exchange rates that are determined by the markets,” he said.

The head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, attempted to dampen talk about currency wars ahead of the meeting, by saying loose talk about currencies was “inappropriate, fruitless and self-defeating”. (BBC)

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