(a) Rates are for the last trading day of the reference period.
(b) On January 1, 1999 eleven European Union nations launched the euro, a single currency giving control of interest rate and exchange rate policy to the European Central Bank. The euro was immediately available for electronic financial and business transactions, but euro coins and notes will not be issued to the general public until January 2002. The participating nations are Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Greece adopted the Euro on 1 January 2001 and Britain, Denmark and Sweden chose not to adopt the euro.