The euro regained its footing against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday as risk appetite soured anew late in the afternoon after Brent oil prices fell sharply, prompting steep declines in U.S. equity markets.
The yen, another currency like the euro used to fund purchases in higher-yielding assets, trimmed losses versus the dollar and rose against commodity units such as the Australian and Canadian dollars. The greenback also gained against the commodity currencies.
"Oil is leading the charge. Equities were getting a bit slippery before the drop in oil, but once oil started to turn, equities started to gain momentum to the downside," said Brad Bechtel, managing director of foreign exchange at Jefferies in New York.
"On the FX side, the dollar was better bid against commodity currencies. The euro gained as well since it has been performing well lately in times of stress," Bechtel said.