G-20 pledges to refrain from currency wars



NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A group representing the world's most prominent finance ministers wrapped up a two-day meeting in Korea Saturday with a pledge to not engage in currency wars or other economically protectionist policies.

The ministers from the so-called G-20 nations, who were meeting in Gyeongju, South Korea, discussed a wide array of challenges facing the global economy. But first and foremost was the issue of currency trading.

The United States has been vocally concerned about how some emerging markets nations, most notably China, have allowed their currencies to trade at artificially low levels. The worry is that if such currency manipulation continues, it could wreak havoc on international trade.

In their statement, however, the G-20 ministers said that they would "move towards more market determined exchange rate systems that reflect underlying economic fundamentals and refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies."

The ministers added that the G-20 member nations would "continue to resist all forms of protectionist measures and seek to make significant progress to further reduce barriers to trade."

The G-20 stopped short of outright banning currency manipulation though. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who attended the meeting, had urged the G-20 ministers to take strong action to make sure emerging markets nations allow their currency to appreciate in line with the free market.

This weekend's meeting is a precursor to a larger G-20 meeting taking place in Seoul on November 11 and 12. That summit will involve the heads of state from the G-20 nations. President Obama will attend.

Tensions about currency and trade are likely to be high at that meeting as well. The G-20 acknowledged in Saturday's statement that the global economic recovery is currently advancing, but it was doing so in "a fragile and uneven way."

The ministers added that "growth has been strong in many emerging market economies, but the pace of activity remains modest in many advanced economies."

As further evidence of that, China announced earlier this week that its gross domestic product for the third-quarter rose at an annual rate of 9.6%. While that's slower than in previous quarters, it is still far higher than the growth rates of the United States, Japan and nations in Europe.

China's central bank also announced earlier this week that it was raising a key interest rate for the first time in nearly three years. That comes at a time when many expect the Federal Reserve to soon announce more details about how it intends to further ease its own monetary policies.

In a nod to the increased economic clout of China and other emerging markets, such as Brazil, India and Russia, the G-20 ministers also announced a deal Saturday that would give emerging markets countries more seats on the board of the International Monetary Fund. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.20%4.30%
15 yr fixed3.28%3.30%
5/1 ARM3.53%3.34%
30 yr refi4.18%4.27%
15 yr refi3.26%3.27%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,563.30 -317.06 -1.88%
Nasdaq 4,369.77 -93.13 -2.09%
S&P 500 1,930.67 -39.40 -2.00%
Treasuries 2.56 0.00 0.08%
Data as of 5:22am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.25 -0.33 -2.12%
Micron Technology In... 30.55 -1.98 -6.09%
Apple Inc 95.60 -2.55 -2.60%
Facebook Inc 72.65 -2.03 -2.71%
Pfizer Inc 28.70 -0.56 -1.91%
Data as of Jul 31

Sections

Malaysia Airlines was in major trouble even before the twin disasters of Flight 370 and Flight 17 claimed the lives of 537 people. More

With RadioShack burning through cash, investors and credit rating agencies believe its days are numbered. More

LinkedIn shares surged in after-hours trading Thursday following strong second-quarter earnings, following the likes of Facebook and Twitter. More

Terrell White has had a profit-sharing plan for his employees since 1981, believing that if the staff isn't happy, guests won't be either. More

The Mason family, which has been struggling to pay the $100,000 student loan bill they were left with when their daughter passed away five years ago, is now seeing an outpouring of support. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.