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France wants to avoid euro rate 'offensive': Moscovici

France is concerned about the euro's rise in value against major global currencies but would rather seek a dialogue on the issue than "launch an offensive" on it, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told AFP on Monday.

"There is no French government strategy to call into question or launch an offensive on the question of foreign currency rates," Moscovici said.

On Friday, the single European currency rose as high as $1.3711, a level last seen in mid-November 2011 that could begin to pose problems for some French exports.

On Sunday, Moscovici said the euro might be too strong, echoing comments by Jean-Claude Juncker, who is the outgoing head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers.

"The euro is stable, the euro is strong, perhaps too strong in some regards," Moscovici had told France 2 television.

He said Monday that "it seems completely legitimate to me that there be a debate on the question of proper global exchange rates in international forums."

Foreign exchange rates have become a subject of interest in several countries, and Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso told parliament Monday that halting the yen's trend upwards is a high priority for the new conservative government in Tokyo.

The euro fell back sharply on Monday as markets mulled rising political tensions in Italy and Spain, and traded late in the day for $1.3540 and 125.35 yen, down from 126.97 yen late on Friday.