UPDATE 1-Draghi: currency talk fruitless, self-defeating

Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:35am EST
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* Draghi speaks ahead of G20 meeting in Russia

* See for more on ECB comments on Friday

MOSCOW Feb 15 (Reuters) - European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Friday criticised "chatter" on currencies that has roiled foreign exchange markets in recent weeks.

"All this chatter that has been undertaken in the past few weeks is either inappropriate or fruitless - in all cases it's self-defeating," Draghi told reporters before a meeting of Group of 20 finance officials in Moscow.

Draghi declined - in line with policy - to say whether the euro's exchange rate was appropriate but noted it was in line with long-term averages in nominal and real terms.

He declined to be drawn into the international controversy that has escalated over the expansive policies pursued by Japan's new government that have weakened the yen.

"The mandate of the ECB is to pursue price stability in both directions in the medium term," he told a news conference after meeting Russian central bankers.

"The exchange rate is not a policy target, but the exchange rate is important for growth and price stability."

He also avoided pre-empting a debate on the wording of a G20 communique on currencies and borrowing by governments, but made it clear that he favoured structural reforms as a path to growth rather than ramping up state borrowing.   Continued...