The yen had the biggest weekly gain versus the euro in a month as lower-than-forecast economic data fueled concern Europe’s debt crisis was weighing on growth, dampening appetite for higher-risk assets.
The US dollar erased a loss versus the euro after an index of US consumer confidence fell to the lowest level since 1980. The Swiss franc dropped versus the 17-nation currency for a second day after reaching a record high on Tuesday. Industrial output fell in Europe, Greece’s economy contracted and the French economy stalled. The Canadian dollar tumbled.
“It’s been a week of very volatile foreign-exchange moves, and I don’t think we’re out of the woods,” said Vassili Serebriakov, a currency strategist at Wells Fargo & Co in New York. “The sentiment is a little bit improved at the end of the week, but we haven’t seen the end of safe-haven pressure on the yen, the franc and the dollar.”
The yen rose 0.1 percent to ￥109.3 to the euro at 5pm on Friday in New York, from ￥109.42 on Thursday, and posted a weekly gain of 2.4 percent, the most since the five days ended July 15. The US dollar fell 0.2 percent to at ￥76.72, compared with ￥76.84 on Thursday and the post-World War II low of ￥76.25 reached on March 17. The euro rose 0.1 percent to US$1.4248, from US$1.4241.
The Swiss franc depreciated 2.2 percent to 1.1086 per euro, following Thursday’s plunge of more than 5 percent, and weakened 2.1 percent against the US dollar to 77.79 centimes. The franc rallied to a record 1.0075 per euro on Tuesday.
Switzerland’s currency tumbled the most against the euro on Thursday since the shared currency’s 1999 debut after Swiss National Bank vice president Thomas Jordan was reported as saying a temporary peg to the euro would be legal as policymakers try to stem the currency’s gains.