(Updates with comments from Noyer starting in second paragraph. For more on the euro crisis, see EXT4.)
Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The euro remains “very strong” and a further decline would help exports, Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer said.
“The euro remains a highly rated currency,” he said in an interview today with Europe 1 radio in Paris. “It is a bit less strong, but that’s not a bad thing; it helps exports.”
The euro was worth $1.17 when it was created in 1999, Noyer said. The currency today fell to a 15-month low versus the dollar on speculation declining consumer confidence and spending will make it harder for European leaders to contain the region’s sovereign-debt crisis. The euro fell to $1.2764 before trading at $1.2774 at 9:01 a.m. in Paris.
“That’s the paradox,” Noyer said. “Everyone talks about crisis, but it remains very strong.”
The euro is an “irreversible choice,” he said. “Everyone must stop fantasies about the end of the euro. The crisis in the euro zone isn’t about the single currency itself, but about problems with management of the debt.”
Noyer also said the European Central Bank can continue to refinance banks “without risk” and that the ECB expects the inflation rate will decline.
--Editors: Jennifer M. Freedman, Jones Hayden
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