G20 defuses talk of 'currency war', no accord on debt

Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:47am EST
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* G20 finance officials declare no "currency wars"

* Underline need to restore growth before cutting debts

* Japan escapes direct criticism over currency policy

* Communique hardened up, closer to G7 FX statement

By Gernot Heller and Maya Dyakina

MOSCOW, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The Group of 20 nations declared on Saturday there would be no 'currency war' and deferred plans to set new debt-cutting targets in an indication of concern about the fragile state of the world economy.

Japan's expansive policies, which have driven down the yen, escaped criticism in a statement agreed in Moscow by financial policymakers from the G20, which groups developed and emerging markets and accounts for 90 percent of the world economy.

After late-night talks, finance ministers and central bankers agreed on wording closer than expected to a joint statement issued last Tuesday by the Group of Seven rich nations backing market-determined exchange rates.

A draft communique seen by delegates on Friday had steered clear of the G7's call for fiscal and monetary policy not to be targeted at exchange rates but the final version included a G20 commitment to refrain from competitive devaluations and stated monetary policy would be directed at price stability and growth.   Continued...