Trading of euro kicks off

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The trading in Europe's new single currency, the euro, kicked off today and the event went smoothly in all markets, Merrill Lynch & Co. reported from London. Foreign exchange traders reported brisk activity and a smooth, orderly start. Merrill Lynch has been preparing for the euro's launch for the past 18 months; for conversion weekend, about 900 staffers in New York, London and on the Continent worked around the clock on the conversion process of hundreds of thousands of accounts and positions from each respective currency to the euro. The euro closed for the day at about $1.18, down from a high topping $1.19 but still beating the $1.16875 at which its predecessor, the European Currency Unit, ended Dec. 31.

Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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