The Japanese yen and the Swiss franc gained on Monday, thanks to safe-haven buying as sentiment in financial markets remained fragile on heightened worries over political instability in the United States and fears of a global economic slowdown.
Trading volumes were thinning out with most global markets set to shut for Christmas, while Japan was closed on Monday for a holiday.
There was hardly any appetite among investors to take on risk, with a deteriorating outlook for global growth leaving stocks hurtling down for their worst quarterly performance since 2008.
That has attracted bids for the likes of the yen and Swiss franc, considered a safe-bet during times of economic and political stress. They were up about 0.1 percent each on the dollar in Asian trade.
The dollar index, a gauge of its value versus six major peers, lost 0.2 percent to 96.76.
The yen gained 0.2 percent, changing hands at 111.03. The heightened fears over slowing global growth benefited the Japanese currency the most last week; it rose 2 percent on the U.S. dollar, and against the Australian dollar, the yen put on a sizable 4 percent.
The euro was up 0.2 percent and last fetched $1.1389 on the dollar.
Elsewhere, sterling edged up 0.3 percent to $1.2675.
The Australian dollar, often considered a barometer of global risk appetite, changed hands at $0.7060, gaining 0.4 percent on its U.S. peer after sliding more than 2 percent last week.