ECB’s Nowotny Says Euro’s Exchange Rate Not a Major Concern

Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said the euro’s recent gains against the dollar are not a concern and he doesn’t expect the currency to keep appreciating in the longer term.

“One shouldn’t overvalue short-term fluctuations of exchange rates,” Nowotny, who heads Austria’s central bank, told reporters at a Euromoney conference in Vienna today. “I don’t see a perspective of a longer-term trend, therefore it is from my point of view not a matter of major concern.”

The euro rose more than a quarter of a cent after Nowotny spoke to trade at $1.3313 at noon in Frankfurt.

Jean-Claude Juncker, who leads the group of euro-area finance ministers, said late yesterday that the euro’s value is “dangerously high.” The 17-nation currency has gained about 2 cents since European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Jan. 10 signaled no immediate plan to ease monetary policy further and said the euro-area economy may recover this year.

“The ECB has a price-stability goal, we do not have an exchange-rate goal,” Nowotny said, adding that the euro is “more or less in an equilibrium situation.”

The ECB’s decision last week to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.75 percent was “well grounded,” he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Boris Groendahl in Vienna at bgroendahl@bloomberg.net; Stefan Riecher in Frankfurt at sriecher@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net