The rout in stocks and bonds that’s wiped more than $2 trillion from global markets in less than two weeks drove investors into the relative safety of the yen and Swiss franc.
Switzerland’s currency jumped the most in two weeks against the euro, while the yen strengthened for a fourth day versus the dollar. They’re traditionally sought by investors during market turmoil because of their relatively stable economies.
“If you look at the behavior of equity and bond markets, it definitely strikes me as an increase in risk aversion,” said Peter Kinsella, a senior currency strategist at Commerzbank AG in London.
The franc strengthened 0.6 percent to 1.03296 per euro at 7:50 a.m. New York time, while the yen advanced 0.3 percent to 119.16 per dollar. The euro tumbled 0.3 percent to $1.1308.
Norway’s krone was the biggest mover among major currencies, climbing to a six-month high of 8.3128 per euro after the nation’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate on hold.
Spanish and Italian bonds rose Thursday, erasing losses earlier in the day, while German bunds fell. The MSCI All-Country World Index of stocks dropped 0.5 percent, its third day of declines.