The euro was rangebound against the dollar and yen in Asian trade Thursday as fresh worries over Europe's fiscal woes prompted traders to look for safer bets, dealers said.
The single currency bought ê1.3148 and 108.13 yen in Tokyo in the afternoon, compared with $1.3141 and 108.35 yen in New York late Wednesday. The dollar edged down to 82.22 yen from 82.46 yen.
On Wednesday, the European unit hit ê1.3107 at one stage, its lowest level since March 16 as Spain's borrowing costs rose sharply at a disappointing bond sale, its first since passing a tough austerity budget last week.
A key survey on Wednesday also showed that eurozone private sector activity retreated in March, fresh evidence that the 17-nation bloc was in recession.
Junichi Ishikawa, forex analyst at IG Market Securities in Tokyo, told Dow Jones Newswires that risk appetite was also subdued ahead of Friday's US non-farm payrolls data and the Easter holiday weekend.
"With the prospect of little additional monetary policy accommodation globally and despite the signs of modest global growth, markets have refocused on the worst-case scenario," National Australia Bank said in a note.
"A rotation back to euro-area worries sees equities and commodities slump, the dollar rally and yields (outside the EU periphery) fall," it said.
"Europe's woes never really went away, and it was nice while it lasted, but we are returning to the inevitable discussion of who's next."
The European Central Bank on Wednesday ruled out winding down its anti-crisis measures for now and kept key interest rates at record lows, after regional finance ministers reached a deal Friday on expanding a firewall to battle future debt problems.
The dollar was mixed against other Asian currencies.
It rose to Sg$1.2579 from Sg$1.2569 on Wednesday and to Tw$29.49 from Tw$29.46 while staying flat at 30.95 Thai baht.
The dollar edged down to 42.70 Philippine pesos from 42.81, to 1,128.10 South Korean won from 1,129.00 won and to 9,165.00 Indonesian rupiah from 9,170.00 rupiah.