Bernanke says strong dollar in U.S. and global interest

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday said the U.S. central bank could best ensure a strong dollar was by creating the conditions for strong economic fundamentals.

"The Federal Reserve believes that a strong and stable dollar is both in American interests and in the interest of the global economy," Bernanke said at a news conference. "In our view, if we do what's needed to pursue our dual mandate for price stability, maximum employment, that will also generate fundamentals that will help the dollar in the medium term."

Fed officials rarely comment on the dollar's relative strength or weakness, and Bernanke's foray amounted to a defense of the central bank. The Fed's easy monetary policies have been accused of undercutting the greenback, which hit a three-year low against major currencies on Wednesday.

(Writing by Tim Ahmann)