The yen and the Swiss franc rose on Thursday as jitters over the chance of Russian intervention in Ukraine added to concern around global emerging markets and drove capital towards the currency world's traditional safe havens.
The broad flight into currencies like the yen and franc that tend to draw investors in times of market stress or risk, also saw the yen gain 0.7 percent against the European single currency and half a percent against the dollar.
Those were the biggest moves this week on major foreign exchange markets and may in part also reflect uncertainty over a big decision in front of the European Central Bank next week on whether to take further action to spur growth.
They also come after the most severe fall in years for the value of China's yuan, reflecting worries that an economy that has propped up global growth for a decade is stuttering.
The Australian dollar had led moves on major currency markets in early European trade, down half a percent against the dollar after weak data on business investment.