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UPDATE 2-Brazil,US have no joint iniatiative on yuan-Mantega
Tue, Feb 15 13:11 PM EST

* Brazil concerned equally about dollar, yuan: Mantega

* Brazil opposes controls on commodity prices: Mantega

* Blames speculation, easy monetary policy for their rise

(Adds comments on SDR and other details throughout)

By Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Isabel Versiani

BRASILIA, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Brazil has no joint initiative with the United States to press China to let its currency appreciate faster, Finance Minister Guido Mantega said on Tuesday.

"The initiatives of the countries are individual, we have no common action (planned)," Mantega said during a conference call, when asked if both countries had drawn up a common position on currency policy ahead of the Group of 20 nations meeting of finance chiefs in Paris at the end of the week.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner last week urged Brazilian officials to lobby China to let its currency rise. Mantega said at the time he was against the manipulation of exchange rates more broadly, according to a source with knowledge of the conversation.[ID:nN07180539]

"Brazil is as concerned with the weakening of the U.S. dollar as it is with the Chinese currency," he added.

Brazilian exporters have been struggling to compete with cheap imports from China and other Asian countries. Brazil's government has maintained that lax monetary policy in the developed world -- which is helping keep borrowing costs there at record lows -- is as much to blame for global imbalances.

The reform of the international monetary system will be discussed at the G20 meeting, Mantega said, and should consider the growing role of global players other than the United States.

"So it would be the case to move from a financial system based on only one strong currency towards a system based on a series of strong currencies," Mantega said. "Another important initiative is to increase the importance of the (IMF's) Special Drawing Rights."

COMMODITY PRICES

G20 officials will also discuss a French proposal for tougher regulation to curb volatility in food and fuel prices in Paris, which has faced some resistance from major commodity producers.

Mantega said Brazil was "totally" against a mechanism for controlling commodity prices, which he said would adjust themselves as advanced economies recovered and there was less easy money going around. Financial speculation and the monetary policy in advanced economies were partly to blame for the rise in commodity prices, he said.

"As advanced countries offer alternatives for investments ... there will be a reversal of these (investments) in commodity markets," Mantega said.

One way of dealing with the rise in commodity prices could be for advanced countries to eliminate subsidies and trade barriers to agricultural products from emerging markets, he added.

(Additional Reporting by Raymond Colitt; Editing by W Simon; Andrew Hay@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: ana.nicolacidacosta.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; Tel: +55-61-3426-7027))


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