With the euro having hit a new record, above $1.3050, European finance ministers want to restore the currency balance. In his comments, German finance Minister Hans Eichel seems to believe there can be progress: “It is like ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said a brutal development. We’ll have to discuss it, but as is appropriate with currency matters, it’ll be behind closed doors and then hopefully with a joint position from Japan, the US and Europe.”Adding to Europe’s export problems, the British pound is also weak against the European currency at around 70 pence per euro, its lowest level this year. The pound fell after the latest British government figures showed retail sales decreased by 0.4% in October, compared with a rise of 1.1% the month before. Consumers’ spending enthusiasm has been curbed by five interest rate rises from the Bank of England in the last year.