Euro is not too strong - ECB's Coene

BRUSSELS, July 9 Wed Jul 9, 2014 2:00am EDT

BRUSSELS, July 9 (Reuters) - The single European currency is not too strong and the European Central Bank should not go beyond its mandate to influence the exchange rate, ECB Governing Council member Luc Coene said in a newspaper interview published on Wednesday.

"It is wrong to say the euro is very strong. Just before the financial crisis, we have to remember, the euro pointed towards $1.60," Coene told Belgian newspaper Le Soir.

Coene added that it was dangerous to compare the euro to the Swiss franc, where the central bank had intervened to keep the currency low, as the market for francs was much smaller.

"The market for euros is so large that one would have to waste considerable financial resources to have a very random result," he said.

Coene said that the European Central Bank's mandate was to control interest rates and inflation and that any effect on exchange rates was unintended.

"We'll do what we will have to do in terms of monetary politics but we should not go further," he said. (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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