The euro fell below the symbolic level of $1.00 for the first time since December 2002, weighed down by darkening economic outlook for the single currency area and a possibility of a complete stoppage in Russian gas supplies, Bloomberg reports.
The common currency slipped as much as 0.4% Wednesday to touch a low of $0.9998. The latest leg lower came after US inflation accelerated in June by more than forecast, boosting bets on Federal Reserve rate hikes.
The downward spiral hasn’t been accompanied by the type of existential doubts that hung over the euro when it plunged during its infancy in the early part of this century, or when the sovereign debt crisis took hold a decade ago. However, it’s still a problem for the European Central Bank.
It’s also trouble for consumers in the 12 trillion-euro economy, feeding an inflation spike that’s already out of control, with prices rising at a record pace close to 9%.