The euro has continued to strengthen — after hitting a two-and-a-half-year high last Friday — with strategists debating whether the currency was being boosted by a step-up in China's move to diversify its foreign holdings.
The single currency traded at $1.392 on Friday afternoon, building on the $1.387 hit on March 6 — the highest since October 2011— after the European Central Bank (ECB) failed to take action to boost inflation or quell the currency's appreciation at its March policy meeting.
(Read more: EU stocks could top highs, despite week's decline)
The euro's gain against the Japanese yen has been still more dramatic — posing a particular problem for Germany, whose high value-added goods compete directly with Japan's in the global export market. The euro traded at a near-six-year high of 101.46 yen on Friday.