Euro falls to near 12-year low against US dollar

Europe’s euro currency tumbled again Tuesday, falling close to a 12-year low against the dollar.

The single currency used in the 19-nation eurozone dropped to $1.07, the lowest point since April 2003, and far off its high point at more than $1.60 in mid-2008.

The value of the euro has been dropping for weeks in lockstep with the weak European economy and advancing U.S. fortunes.  European investors and officials are also worried that negotiations over Greece’s bailout may prove difficult to resolve in the coming months.

The American labor market added 295,000 jobs last month, the 12th straight month in which job growth has totaled more than 200,000, pushing the U.S. unemployment rate down to 5.5 percent.  Meanwhile, the eurozone jobless rate is at more than 11 percent.

The European Central Bank embarked Monday on a $1.2 trillion stimulus plan aimed at boosting the continent’s economy and job growth, but it had the immediate effect of weakening the euro against the dollar.

For several years, the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve, also bought billions of dollars of securities every month to generate economic growth, but now has ended the program.  With the improving U.S. economy, the Fed is expected to raise its benchmark interest rate in the coming months, an effort aimed at keeping the economy from advancing too rapidly.


(Photo: Vangelis Thomaidis)