The euro has become the second most traded currency behind the U.S. dollar.2 The official currency of the majority of the nations within the eurozone, the euro was introduced to the world markets on Jan. 1, 1999, with banknotes and coinage entering circulation three years later.7
Along with being the official currency for most eurozone countries, many nations within Europe and Africa peg their currencies to the euro, for much the same reason that currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar—to stabilize the exchange rate. As a result, the euro is also the world’s second-largest reserve currency.8
With the euro being a widely used and trusted currency, it is prevalent in the forex market and adds liquidity to any currency pair it trades with. The euro is commonly traded by speculators as a play on the general health of the eurozone and its member nations. Political events within the eurozone can also lead to large trading volumes in the euro, especially in relation to nations that saw their local interest rates fall dramatically at the time of the euro’s inception, notably Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal.910 The euro may be the most “politicized” currency actively traded in the forex market.
The U.S. Dollar is the dominant currency in foreign exchange markets. Measured by volume, the eight most common currency pairings involve the U.S. dollar