Some of the euro zone's top officials sounded the alarm today about the strength of the bloc's shared currency as it soared to record highs on foreign exchange markets.

The euro hit a new record high of $1.5274 this afternoon amid growing fears the US economy is lurching into recession. It was standing at $1.5186 this evening, while it was also worth 76.53 pence sterling.

'I have to say that I'm starting to become increasingly concerned and vigilant,' Luxembourg Finance Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said as he arrived to chair a meeting with counterparts from other euro countries.

'Of course, we are always concerned,' said Slovenian Finance Minister Andrej Bajuk, whose country holds the European Union's  revolving presidency. 'This development is something that is not very encouraging, but  we are working on it,' he said. 

ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet stressed as he arrived for the meeting that it was 'very important' that Washington is committed to a having a strong dollar.

'In the present circumstances, I consider it very important what has been affirmed and reaffirmed by the US authorities, including the US treasury secretary and the president of the US, according to whom a strong dollar policy is in the interest of the US economy,' Trichet said.