Euro rises as finance ministers meet

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici has expressed fears about the strength of the euro

Related Stories

The euro has jumped against the British pound and the Japanese yen.

The move comes as France voiced its concerns about the strength of the euro at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels.

But the new head of the eurozone bloc, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said the currency "was not discussed at great length".

The euro has risen by 6% against a basket of other currencies in the past six months.

But with other countries also wanting to weaken their exchange rates, there are renewed fears of "currency wars".

Japan has recently moved to force down the value of the yen.

Speaking after the meeting, Eurogroup head Mr Dijsselbloem said the euro was talked about. "It was part of the discussion but the main conclusion was that it should be discussed, if anywhere, at the G20 later this week," he added.

'Co-ordinated approach'

On Monday, the single currency rose 1.1% against the yen to 125.30. Against the pound, it climbed 1% to 85.41p. It climbed slightly against the dollar to $1.3387.

"We will have a debate about exchange rates," Mr Moscovici told reporters as he arrived for the meetings.

Euro v Pound Sterling

Last Updated at 26 Dec 2014, 18:56 ET *Chart shows local time EUR:GBP intraday chart
€1 buys change %
0.7829 -
-0.00
-
-0.16

"The euro has appreciated strongly in recent months... for positive reasons, because confidence is coming back in the eurozone."

He added: "I think that we must, at the international level, argue for a co-ordinated approach that will allow us to have a stable exchange rate... exchange rates should not be subject to moods or speculation,".

Last week, France called for the European Central Bank (ECB) to consider setting a target for the single currency - steering it lower when the value became too high.

But both Germany and the ECB are against such a move, arguing that the central bank's mandate is to ensure price stability and not to manage currency markets.

However, ECB President Mario Draghi was widely thought to be trying to talk down the euro at his interest rate press conference last week.

"The exchange rate is not a policy target, but it is important for growth and price stability," Mr Draghi said in response to a question.

"We will closely monitor money market developments."

Daragh Maher, a senior currency strategist at HSBC, told the BBC that France was probably more "twitchy" because numbers were showing its competitiveness to be declining.

There are reports that the G7 group of rich countries may release a statement later this week to cool talk about currency markets. It is thought that it will reaffirm its commitment to market-determined exchange rates.

Today's Eurogroup meeting - attended by eurozone finance ministers - is the first to be hosted by the Netherlands. Financial aid to Greece and Cyprus is also likely to be discussed.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Abdi Nor IftinGolden ticket

    How a refugee entered a lottery and won a new life in the US


  • Herring in a fur coatMerry herring

    How fish 'in a fur coat' is enough to make Russia's New Year happy


  • Curiosity Self Portrait at Windjana Drilling SiteIn pictures

    The most stunning space photos of the year


  • Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Dame Judi DenchFilm quiz of 2014

    How much do you remember about the past 12 months?


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • BooksHidden messages

    Adults often find surprising subtexts in children’s literature – but are they really there?

Programmes

  • Click presenter Spencer Kelly flies a droneClick Watch

    From wearable technology to drones and robots - highlights from 2014

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.