The pound extended declines against the euro and the dollar due to concerns that Britain is unprepared for a spiral of coronavirus cases, as healthcare systems in Italy and Spain are already overwhelmed.
Australian and New Zealand dollars, which are prized for global commodity trade, fell against their US counterpart as traders avoided taking excessive risk.
Investors welcomed the approval of a $ 2 trillion US stimulus package to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but there are already signs that some US states. USA They will need more money for medical supplies as the health system struggles to cope.
"It could be difficult for markets to digest weekly jobless claims," said Tohru Sasaki, head of market research for Japan at JP Morgan Securities in Tokyo.
"The numbers are expected to be bad and priced to some degree, but there are people who think things will get even worse. In the end, this may support the dollar as investors choose to bring their money home."
The dollar fell 0.46% to 110.71 yen JPY = EBS in Asia on Thursday.
Against the Swiss franc CHF = EBS, the dollar fell 0.3% to 0.9743.
GBP GBP = D3 fell 0.17% to $ 1.1853 and fell 0.47% to 92.05 pence per euro EURGBP = D3.
Pound losses accelerated early in Asian trade after the British government said the total number of coronavirus cases in the UK rose to 9,529 on Wednesday from 8,077 the day before.
US weekly unemployment claims are expected. USA Those due later on Thursday increase to around one million, which would be well above the previous peak seen during the global financial crisis.
Some analysts say unemployment claims could even exceed a million, as companies are expected to quickly fire workers.
Draconian restrictions on personal movement to slow the spread of the coronavirus are expected to cause a global recession.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak on US television at 1100 GMT, which may provide more information on policymakers' response to the pandemic.
The United States Senate on Wednesday approved a $ 2 billion emergency package, and United States President Donald Trump is expected to quickly sign the bill after a vote in the House of Representatives on Friday.
The euro EUR = EBS rose 0.29% to $ 1.0911 in Asia on Thursday. The common currency held gains against the Swiss franc EURCHF = EBBS, trading at 1.0633.
The German lower house suspended the country's debt brake on Wednesday and approved a supplemental debt-financed budget of 156 billion euros to pay for medical care and keep companies afloat.
Singapore's economy suffered its biggest contraction in a decade in the first quarter, data showed on Thursday, when the coronavirus pandemic prompted the city-state to cut its year-long GDP forecast and plan for a deep recession.
The Singapore dollar SGD =, which already hit the lowest in more than 10 years on Monday, barely budged after the GDP data. However, the figures are likely to reinforce fears that global activity will contract sharply in the first half of the year. Singapore is one of the most open economies in the world.
The Australian dollar AUD = D3 fell 0.65% to $ 0.5921, while the New Zealand dollar NZD = D3 declined 0.19% to $ 0.5840.
Both the Australian and the kiwi collapsed to multi-year lows earlier this month as nervous investors liquidated positions in favor of keeping their dollar money in cash deposits.
Stanley White Report; Richard Pullin and Kim Coghill Edition
. (tagsToTranslate) EE. USA (t) GLOBAL (t) FOREX (t) Asia / Pacific (t) Australia (t) Japan (t) Market Reports (t) New Zealand (t) Reports (t) Currencies / Currency Markets (t) United States