The yen surged to its strongest level against the euro for more than three years on Tuesday as the chances of Britain voting next week to leave the European Union grew, pushing investors towards the security of Japan and other traditional safe havens.
As opinion polls continued to show the "Leave" camp moving ahead before the June 23 vote, and Britain's biggest selling paper, the Sun, came out in favor of leaving the bloc, sterling remained under pressure. In mid-morning U.S. trade, the pound hit session lows after a TNS poll showed 47 percent of Britons would vote to leave the EU, while 40 percent would vote to stay.
While many market players are skeptical about the accuracy of the polls, recent results have sent a shockwave through global financial markets.
The Swiss franc, another traditional harbor in times of global financial stress, hit a three-month high against the euro, and the dollar gained more than half a percent against the euro and a basket of currencies.