The Euro: We Have Liftoff!

The new currency's strong launch is hailed around the world

The mood was giddy just about everywhere on the Continent as Europe's new currency, the euro, made its grand debut. In Frankfurt, dignitaries ceremoniously launched Germany's first euro-denominated stock trading on the morning of Jan. 4 as strobe lights flashed and the uplifting strains of Beethoven's Ode to Joy wafted through the bourse. Stock markets from Frankfurt to Paris to Milan responded to the euphoria by soaring more than 8% over the next three days.

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