Europe's financial problems pushed the euro down to a two-year low against the dollar on Friday.
Europe’s financial problems pushed the euro down to a two-year low against the dollar on Friday.
The U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen were the two big winners as investors looked for safety. Borrowing costs for Italy rose sharply, reflecting investors’ unease about the country’s finances.
The euro was trading at $1.2271 on Friday afternoon. During the day the euro fell to its lowest level against the dollar since July 1, 2010.
Just one week ago financial markets rallied after European leaders agreed to help Spain and other countries in the region. The news out of the European Union summit was generally seen as a positive step toward resolving Europe’s debt crisis.
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But on Thursday, interest rate cuts in Europe and China that were meant to help their economies caused investors to worry that the central banks were responding to an unexpectedly sharp economic drop instead.
Friday’s euro decline matched a drop in stock markets in Europe as well as the U.S.
The Swiss franc fell too, to $1.0218, from $1.0313.
The Japanese yen rose more than 1 percent versus the euro, and rose slightly vs. the dollar.
The dollar fell versus the British pound, to $1.5475, from $1.5524 a day earlier. The dollar gained against the Canadian dollar, to $1.0203, from $1.0134.