* Fed to pump more money into the US economy
* Chile FinMin says measure a ‘worry’
* Emerging market currencies have strengthened
SANTIAGO, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve’s promise to pump more money into the U.S. economy is a “worry,” as it can further pressure cu rrencies in emerging na tions, C hile’s Finance Minister Felipe Larrain said on Thursday.
The Chilean peso and a raft of other currencies in the developing world have strengthened due to historically low interest rates and stimulus programs in the developed world.
The Fed, announcing a new round of monetary stimulus, took the unprecedented step on Wednesday of indicating interest rates would remain near zero until unemployment falls to at least 6.5 percent. [ID :nL1E8NC6N6]
“The continued aggressive quantitative easing is a source of worry... for all the emerging countries that are faring well, that are in process of growing dynamically and have fl oating ex change rates,” Larrain said.
He spoke during a press conference with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde and central bank president Rodrigo Vergara after a meeting to discuss the world economy.
Emerging markets have blamed loose monetary policies in rich nations for spurring destabilizing flows of hot money, and the IMF is trying to forge a consensus on when it makes sense for nations to resort to capital curbs. [ID :nL1E8N304O]
“Without a doubt we’d like the North American economy to be doing better but the fact that we’re getting additional liquidity injections c an put pressure on the currencies of countries that are doing well,” he added.
Chile’s peso has strengthened 8.62 percent this year against the U.S. dollar. It ranks behind the Hungarian forint and the Polish zloty as one of the strongest foreign currency performers a g ainst the dollar among 152 currencies tracked by Reuters.
World No.1 copper producer Chile has lured investor interest due to strong economic growth -- seen at 5.5 percent this year-- and interest rates at 5 percent since a surprise cut in January.