April 23, 2009

Euro cash hoarding spiked in final quarter

The European Central Bank said demand for the euro surged in the final quarter of 2008 as people hoarded 100- and 500-euro banknotes.

The demand for cash peaked in the first two weeks of October, the bank said. During that time, the demand for the euro surged to $45 billion to $52 billion -- a hefty amount considering the value of euro notes in circulation amounted to $996 billion at the end of the year, The New York Times reported Thursday.

A 100-euro banknote was worth $130.59 Thursday. A 500-euro note was worth $652.99. The bank said the cash was to a large extent used for hoarding, the Times reported.