LONDON – Following is a chronology of key milestones in the performance of the euro since Jan. 1, 1999:
Jan. 1, 1999 — Euro officially launched by Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain
Jan. 4 — Euro starts trading at $1.1747 in Sydney
March 11 — German Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine resigns. Euro at $1.1028
March 15 — European Commission resigns en masse. Euro closes at $1.0943
March 16 — Dow Jones industrial average of leading U.S. stocks hits 10,000 for first time. Euro closes at $1.0990
March 24 — NATO attacks Yugoslavia. Euro falls to $1.0885
July 13 — Euro bottoms at $1.01, gradually recovers to mid-October highs around $1.09 before resuming its downward trend. U.S. Fed raises interest rates twice during this period
Dec. 31 — Euro closes first year trading at $1.0060
Jan. 5 — Euro jumps 3.5 percent in first three trading days of 2000, rising above $1.04 for first time in seven weeks
Jan. 31 — EMU-11 finance ministers and ECB say euro area growth is robust and euro has potential to rise based on growth and internal price stability. Euro closes at $0.9693
March 9 — ECB's monthly report warns of risk of rising inflation in euro area due in part to weaker euro
March 31 — Euro falls below 100 yen for the first time
May 4 — Euro sinks to a new low at $0.8844. French President Chirac, Luxembourg Prime Minister Juncker express concern about euro weakness
May 5 — ECB's Noyer says euro/dollar exchange rate "ridiculous," cites intervention option. Euro closes at $0.8967
May 16 — U.S. Fed hikes interest rates by 50 basis points, issues warning on inflation risks. Euro closes at $0.9002
June 8 — ECB surprises markets, hikes main refinancing rate by 50 basis points. Euro hits 2-month high at $0.9701
Aug. 22 — German Ifo July business climate survey falls steeply to lowest in nine months. U.S. Fed leaves interest rates steady. Euro sinks to 3-month low at $0.8940.
Aug. 31 — ECB raises interest rates 25 basis points, less than market had expected. Euro drops to new record low $0.8837, breaking below strong support at previous low.
Sept. 12 — ECB's Duisenberg says euro declines a "cause for concern," not in line with fundamentals. Euro sinks to fresh record low of $0.8548.
Sept. 20 — Euro falls to record lows below $0.8440, around 90 yen
Sept. 22 — ECB intervenes jointly with U.S., Japanese, UK, and Canadian authorities. Euro shoots up above $0.90, 96 yen
Oct. 26 — The euro hits an all-time low against the dollar at $0.8234, off 30 percent from since its birth in January 1999.
Nov. 3 — The euro shoots higher after the ECB unilaterally intervenes for the second time, rising more than 1.5 cents to peaks near $0.88. Another intervention takes place on November 6 pushing the euro up nearly a cent to above $0.87.
Dec. 20 — By 1150 GMT, the euro rises as high as $0.9045 , according to Reuters data, up more than a cent on the day and nearly 10 percent above record lows set in October.
Dec. 21 — The Reuters Financial Newsmaker of the Year 2000 is Duisenberg, wrecker of the euro or talented victim of circumstance, depending on whom you talk to.
Jan. 1 — Greece joins the European Union's single currency after a long struggle to shape up its economy and earn its place as the euro zone's 12th member.
Jan. 5 — Euro rises on dollar to highest since June and what proves to be its high for the year at $0.9595 cents.
March 29 — The euro falls nearly half a cent to its lowest levels this year against the dollar after the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged at 4.75 percent.
May 17 — Europe's top retailers and consumer goods producers warn of chaos if the ECB fails to ensure enough coins and small notes for the launch of the euro in 2002.
July 6 — Euro falls to year low of $0.8344, near all-time low of $0.8225 set in October 2000.
Sept. 1 — Europe gears up for its biggest-ever cash rollout as 12 countries start distributing billions of freshly minted euros ready for use by consumers from January 1.
Sept. 17 — ECB makes an emergency rate cut by 50 bp to 3.75 pct. U.S. Federal Reserve also cuts rates by 50 basis points, and Bank of England cuts by 50 bp the following day. Euro closes at $0.9243.
Dec. 15 — Europeans queue in freezing temperatures to snap up starter kits of the new euro coins. Kits go on sale in Belgium, Italy and four other countries. They were released in the Netherlands, Ireland and France on Dec 14 and will be available in the rest of the currency bloc from Dec 17.
Dec. 28 — Asian banks gear for the introduction of euro notes and coins next week, with shipments of the new currency of 12 European nations said to be on track. Euro trades at $0.8820 on the last full trading day of the year.