The yen rose and the yuan fell on Thursday, after a news report said deputy-level trade talks between Chinese and U.S. officials in Washington had failed to make much headway, sending investors scurrying for safety.
The yen last stood at 107.35 per dollar and the franc at 0.9936 per dollar. The euro nudged higher to $1.0988.
China's yuan dropped 0.4% to hit five-week low in offshore trade, before it too recovered.
The trade-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars hit week lows before turning flat. Against a basket of currencies the dollar fell 0.1% to 99.012.
The Chinese yuan fell as far as 7.1677 per dollar, its weakest since Sept. 4, before recovering in offshore trade.
The Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar each fell 0.1% to touch one-week lows, but then steadied with the Aussie last buying $0.6717 and the kiwi $0.6287.
The pound was flat after a rollercoaster overnight session where it leapt on reports of a breakthrough on the Irish backstop and then gave up the gains as hopes of progress on a key sticking point for a Brexit deal were dashed.
It steadied at $1.2214 per pound, not far above a one-month low.