LONDON : The euro rose sharply against the dollar on Friday at the end of a turbulent year for the eurozone and as Estonia prepared to become the latest country to adopt the single currency.
The euro jumped to 1.3354 dollars in morning trade here from 1.3286 dollars late in New York on Thursday.
The dollar dropped to 81.39 yen from 81.55 yen on Thursday.
At the stroke of midnight in Estonia, along with ringing in the new year the nation of 1.3 million bids farewell to its kroon, adopted in 1992 to replace the Soviet ruble, and becomes the eurozone's 17th member.
It is a move pitched by the government as economic good sense despite the eurozone's turmoil, but which has won only a muted welcome from the Baltic state's public.
Opponents of the switch plastered the EU Baltic state's capital Tallinn with posters on Friday.
"Estonia! Welcome to the Titanic!", read posters euro opponents fixed to garbage cans in central Tallinn, highlighting the debt and deficit crises which have plagued eurozone members Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.
The euro has dropped by around seven per cent against the dollar in 2010. After beginning strongly -- its intra-year high was 1.4579 dollars on January 13 -- the single currency plunged to a four-year low of 1.1877 dollars in June.
It has since clawed back, aided by strong recovery for Europe's biggest economy Germany.
"We haven't seen the capitulation in the single currency that some expected even as the peripheral debt crisis imploded," said Kathleen Brooks , an analyst at Forex.com trading group.
"This reinforces our belief that this remains fundamentally a credit crisis rather than a currency crisis for the currency bloc. This leaves the euro in a stable position as we move into 2011."
Elsewhere in 2010, the dollar slumped to a 15-year low against the yen as the US economy struggle to recover from the world's worst downturn in decades.
In London on Friday, the euro changed hands at 1.3354 dollars against 1.3286 dollars late in New York on Thursday, at 108.69 yen (108.36), 0.8631 pounds (0.8612) and 1.2514 Swiss francs (1.2423).
The dollar stood at 81.39 yen (81.55) and 0.9371 Swiss francs (0.9350).
The pound was at 1.5471 dollars (1.5423).
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold rose to 1,410.85 dollars an ounce from 1,405.50 dollars late on Thursday.