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Heads of International Central Banks Gather

May 29, 2000|Associated Press

French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin opened an international monetary conference over the weekend reiterating his confidence in the euro, saying the currency has "definitively" created a new business environment for Europe. The conference, which closes Wednesday, brings together the heads of the world's main central banks, including U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, European Central Bank chief Wim Duisenberg, the heads of Germany's Bundesbank and the Bank of Japan, and Bank of France Governor Jean-Claude Trichet. The group was to open debate today on the single European currency. In an opening address, France's Socialist prime minister vaunted his government's performance in creating what he said was a dynamic economy and business environment in France and stressed commitment to the euro despite its weak performance. "The euro has definitively made of Europe, for our business and our financial establishments, a veritable interior space," Jospin said. Jospin described the euro's performance as "unsatisfactory" and said it should be the object "of all our collective vigilance" within Europe and with the United States and Japan. Improved economic coordination inside the euro-zone on economic and fiscal policy is vital "to better balance the global monetary system." Early this morning in Tokyo trading, the euro traded near a one-month high against the dollar and a two-week high against the yen. The euro on Friday bought $0.932 U.S. The euro bought 99.82 yen, up from 99.74 in New York, where its rose to 99.92, its strongest since May 15.

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