Germany warns against 'currency wars'

Germany's finance minister on Friday warned of the dangers of countries intervening in the foreign exchange markets, as top officials from the group of 20 met amid fears of a "currency war".

Speaking as the meeting opened in Moscow, Wolfgang Schaeuble told German radio: "We do not want state intervention in exchange rates. We want exchange rates that are determined by the markets."

"I am actually very confident that will also be the joint position of all G20 countries in Moscow," Schaeuble added in an interview on Germany's Inforadio.

The meeting of the G20 finance ministers was expected to be dominated by the controversial decision of Japan's central bank for "monetary easing" to boost its economy, which also has the effect of weakening the yen on the markets.

The G7 group of the world's richest nations -- including Japan -- issued a statement Tuesday to calm markets by declaring a commitment to "market-determined exchange rates".

But one European finance official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Japan was "not in the clear."

"Everyone understands that this message was addressed to Tokyo as it was not respecting the rules of the collective game."

Schaeuble also called on his fellow finance ministers to continue efforts to tackle the debt and deficit mountains that sparked the most recent crisis.

"We in Germany -- and also in Europe -- have shown that this is the right path," stressed the minister.

--

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