The euro fell against the dollar, touching on a two-year low in the last 24 hours.

This morning the single currency stood at 1.1764 to the dollar and was 1.4796 against the pound.

Ongoing uncertainty in Germany, the continent's biggest economy, is one reason for the slide, with the new coalition government struggling to make its mark.

With the growth rate in the country plummeting, plans to tax high-earners more have been criticised by some economists.

Deutsche Bank chief economist told Reuters: "After all the talk of reform during the election campaign, German economic policy is now headed in the wrong direction."

Meanwhile, problems in France, as riots continue to undermine economic and social stability, are making the situation worse.

A 13th consecutive night of trouble yesterday continued despite the French cabinet approving a host of emergency measures, although there were signs that the scale of the problem was beginning to shrink.