For the first time in nearly 20 years, one euro is almost worth the same as one U.S. dollar. The euro, which is shared by 19 European countries, has recently come under pressure, like many other currencies against the dollar, losing more than 10 percent of its value this year.
The war in Ukraine, restricted energy supplies from Russia, high inflation and the rising risk of recession in the eurozone have dragged the euro down to within a whisker of parity, or a one-to-one exchange rate with the dollar. This week, fears that a crucial natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which went offline on Monday for 10 days of scheduled maintenance, but could remain shut down for longer, have hit the euro hard.
A big fall for the euro on Monday was followed by a smaller slide on Tuesday, at one point pulling it within a fraction of a cent above parity with the dollar, without tipping over the threshold.
The last time the euro was worth the same as the dollar was in December 2002, not long after the currency was introduced in 1999.
In other markets on Tuesday, Europe’s Stoxx 600 is up 0.5 percent, while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed with losses of over 1 percent each. All three major U.S. indexes were down. The U.S. 10-year treasury, a benchmark for borrowing costs, fell, as did oil prices, reflecting worries about economic growth.