Euro slumps to lowest level against dollar since May

LONDON: The euro tumbled on Friday to the lowest point against the dollar in since May as concerns mounted about a potential sovereign debt default in Europe, dealers said.

At around 0830 GMT, the European single currency dived as low as 1.3648 dollars, a level last seen on 6 May, 2009.

European equities also dived on Friday, analysts said.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of leading shares sank 1.08 percent to 5,083.87 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 fell 0.76 percent to 5,491.73 points and in Paris the CAC 40 slid 1.14 percent to 3,647.24 points.

All three markets had plunged on Thursday as investor fears over rising debt levels in some eurozone member states became more acute and US data offered scant hope for a recovery in the jobs market there.

The biggest losses on Thursday were in Spain and Portugual, seen as the next weakest links in the eurozone chain after Greece, and their markets opened sharply lower again on Friday.

"It's been a dismal 24 hours ... as stock markets, commodities and currencies have fallen around the world, while bond default risk has soared (and) investors have fled risky assets into the relative safety of the dollar," said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

"Fears of (a) European sovereign debt default as well as a surprise rise in US jobless claims have spooked investors ahead of today's US payroll data."