Changes to `Independent' statistics after euro launch

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THE INDEPENDENT'S statistics are from today being adjusted to take account of the launch of the euro. We are also extending our coverage of international stock markets.

In the foreign exchange-rate table (published on page 17 today) spot rates against the German mark have been replaced by a column of euro cross rates. The 11 currencies in EMU still feature in this table, even though they are now fixed sub-units of the euro, to provide an easy reference point while francs, marks and other legacy currencies continue to circulate.

On the currencies table (below), the euro replaces mark rates. The ecu, which converted into the euro on a one-for-one basis, has also been replaced by the euro throughout the section, while all "year change" information for euro will be since its launch on 1 January.

Repo and overnight rates set by the new European Central Bank for the eurozone replace the individual rates for the countries participating in economic and monetary union in the interest-rate table (page 17). The short-term money market rates listed under Germany on the interest-rate table below also apply across the eurozone.

At the moment the British Bankers' Association euro Libor rates and the European Bankers Federation's Euribor rates are competing to establish themselves as Europe's key benchmark. As The Independent publishes Liffe euro Libor futures, we have also added the euro Libor rate to the money- market rate table.

Liffe plans to continue trading euromark and eurolira contracts until 22 January, when they will be converted into euro Libor contracts. We will continue to publish the separate future contracts until then.