Euro Falls to Lowest Level Since Lehman Collapse

The euro fell to its lowest level since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. on concern that the 16-nation currency may be headed for disintegration., Bloomberg 5/15/2010 8:50:22 PM

The shared currency fell for a fourth week versus the dollar and a third week versus the yen, the longest losing streaks since February, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Europe is in a very, very serious situation” despite a rescue package for the region’s most indebted nations.

The euro fell 3.1 percent to $1.2358 last week, from $1.2755 on May 7. It traded as low as $1.2354 on Friday, the weakest since October 2008. The common currency dropped 2.1 percent to 114.38 yen, from 116.81 last week. The dollar traded at 92.47 yen after gaining 1 percent last week, the first weekly gain since the five days ended April 23.

European policy makers last week unveiled a loan package worth almost $1 trillion and a program of bond purchases in an effort to contain a sovereign-debt crisis that has threatened to shatter confidence in the euro. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said the move wasn’t supported by all 22 of the bank’s Governing Council members.

The ECB said it will intervene in government and private bond markets to ensure depth and liquidity in those market segments which are dysfunctional,” and central banks in Germany, Italy and France began buying government bonds last week. The ECB restarted a dollar-swap line with the Federal Reserve.