The safe-haven yen flirted with a seven-week high against the dollar on Thursday as investors limited their exposure to riskier assets amid dire global economic data, rising trade tensions and concerns over the euro zone.
The yen rose to seven-week high of 105.985 per dollar and last stood at 106.04. Against the euro, it traded at 114.63 yen per euro, having hit a 3 1/2-year high of 114.43 overnight.
In the UK, British construction suffered its sharpest decline on record, more than twice as large as the previous month, even though general construction work was not ordered by the government to stop.
The euro changed hands at $1.0799 after three straight days of falls so far this week, hit also by the German court decision challenging the country's participation in the European Central Bank's stimulus.
The British pound eased a tad on Thursday to $1.2324 , touching its lowest level in almost two weeks.