Fear is still affecting world financial markets, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in an interview released on Sunday in which he also backed France's candidate to head the IMF.

Greenspan told newspaper Le Figaro that the current financial market turmoil bore many of the hallmarks of the 1997-1998 crisis in Asian and Russian markets, and said the current difficulties were not yet over.

"I have graphs dating back to 1997-1998. The products are different but the curves are the same," Greenspan said in an interview due to be published on Monday.

"Fear dissipates when price uncertainty diminishes, that is to say when the spread between the sale price and the purchase price of securities falls and stabilizes. We're not there yet," Greenspan said.

The current global credit crunch began in the U.S. subprime mortgage sector, where home loans made to borrowers with poor credit records were repackaged and sold on around the world as asset backed securities to institutional investors, including hedge funds.

Central banks have pumped liquidity into money markets to prevent them seizing up.

On the International Monetary Fund, Greenspan said the organization had to adapt to changed circumstances and that Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former Socialist finance minister, would be a good candidate to run the fund.

"The IMF has to rethink its mission. Dominique Strauss-Kahn is perfectly well equipped to understand the type of sensitive reforms that must be put in place," he told Le Figaro.

Strauss-Kahn, the top contender for the job, will likely be named the next IMF managing director after he was endorsed on Wednesday by the United States.

Former Czech central banker Josef Tosovsky, nominated by Russia, is considered a challenge to the custom of Western Europe appointing the head of the global lender.

(Reporting by Jon Boyle)