The yen strengthened to a four-week high against the euro and gained versus the dollar as speculation the global recovery is slowing spurred demand for the relative safety of Japan's currency.
The currency advanced to 130.27 per euro in London from 130.58 overnight in New York, after climbing to 129.99, the strongest level since December 22. It rose to 90.45 versus the dollar from 90.78, after touching 90.35, the highest since December 21.
The yen rose versus 15 of its 16 major counterparts before a German report that economists said will show investor sentiment fell for a fourth month and as Asian stocks fell. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research's index of investor and analyst expectations slipped to 50 this month from 50.4 in December.
"Some worries over the strength of the worldwide rebound and the fall in stocks are causing risk aversion," said Nobuaki Kubo, vice-president of foreign exchange in Tokyo at BBH Investment Services. "The yen is being bought."
The pound climbed to a six-week high against the dollar after reports that Kraft Foods is nearing an agreement to buy Cadbury. The pound gained to $1.6411 from $1.6343, after reaching $1.6421, the most since December 8. The currency appreciated to 87.67 pence euro from 88.03 pence. The pound rose against all 16 most-active currencies.
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