Business

Euro falls to four-year low against dollar

The euro has hit a new four-year low against the dollar after comments from French Prime Minister Francois Fillon suggested its weakness was "good news".

The euro fell 1.4% to $1.19920, marking the first time the currency had fallen below $1.20 since March 2006.

Mr Fillon said he saw only "good news" in euro-dollar parity.

But a later clarification said the reference to "parity" was about the general evolution of the two currencies' exchange rate.

Swiss role

The euro tumbled to a record low against the Swiss franc as well, falling to 1.3865 francs.

Like the US dollar, the Swiss franc is also perceived as a relatively safe currency in times of economic uncertainty.

Also on Friday, the value of Hungary's currency, the forint, fell by 5.6% against the euro, amid growing fears that the country could be facing a Greek-style debt crisis.

Many homeowners in Hungary have mortgages denominated in Swiss francs, because of the low interest rate in that currency, and markets are concerned that Hungarians might default on those loans.