The euro climbed against the dollar on Wednesday before a vital vote in the race to solve Greece's debt crisis, while markets also assessed the appointment of the International Monetary Fund's new head.
In London deals, the European single currency rose to $1.4391 from $1.4367 late in New York on Tuesday.
Against the Japanese unit, the dollar climbed to 81.12 yen from 81.08 yen on Tuesday.
Markets were awaiting a Greek vote on austerity measures vital for Athens to avoid debt default.
"With no 'Plan B' in the event of a parliamentary rejection... market tensions would escalate dramatically," said BNP Paribas analyst Luigi Speranza.
However ahead of Wednesday's vote, optimism was growing that Greece would pass tough measures required under a European bailout of the country to avoid a debt default.
The vote is eagerly awaited by other debt-ridden eurozone countries fearing dangerous knock-on effects.
The new measures were drawn up to meet European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions for further bailout support, after a 110-billion-euro rescue last year.
If passed, these creditors could as early as Sunday authorise 12 billion euros in blocked funds needed to stave off bankruptcy for the Athens government when massive repayments fall due in mid-July.
It comes as France's Christine Lagarde was on Tuesday chose to head the IMF.
Lagarde replaces fellow countryman Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF chief since 2007, who resigned on May 18 after being arrested in New York for allegedly sexually assaulting a Manhattan hotel maid. He has denied the charges.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office declared the pick a "victory for France," while British finance minister George Osborne welcomed the "good news for the global economy."
The 55-year-old lawyer, a divorced mother of two and finance minister since 2007, was chosen by consensus rather than a vote of the 24 IMF executive directors, the board said.
In London on Wednesday, the euro changed hands at $1.4391 against $1.4367 late in New York on Tuesday, at 116.74 yen (116.51), £0.8985 (0.8980) and 1.1963 Swiss francs (1.1955).
The dollar stood at 81.12 yen (81.08) and 0.8313 Swiss francs (0.8319).
The pound was at $1.6015 (1.5997).
On the London Bullion Market, gold prices rose to $1,508.90 an ounce from $1,499 late on Tuesday.