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Norway Krone Strength ‘Not Unexpected,’ Norges Bank’s Olsen Says

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The krone’s surge in value since October was in line with the central bank’s estimates, Governor Oeystein Olsen said.

Norges Bank yesterday left its benchmark interest rate at 1.5 percent as policy makers try to prevent western Europe’s biggest oil exporter from overheating without fueling currency appreciation.

“The krone has strengthened somewhat since the last monetary policy report, but all in all in the fourth quarter it was in line with our estimates,” Olsen said in an interview in Oslo today. “In that sense it wasn’t unexpected. New developments, other developments in the currency, will be one of the factors which we will consider next time.”

The import-weighted krone index reached 85 last week, the strongest level since at least 1999. The index has appreciated beyond the bank’s 85.75 forecast for next year. A lower reading indicates a stronger currency. Gains have pushed inflation well below the central bank’s 2.5 percent target.

To contact the reporter on this story: Josiane Kremer in Oslo at jkremer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net

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