The euro fell to a six-week low today after a senior politician in one of Italy's ruling parties said most of the country's problems would be resolved if it readopted a national currency. 

The euro also slumped against the safe-haven yen and Swiss franc, while the dollar surged to a one-month high as investors piled in and sold riskier assets such as equities. 

Markets are highly sensitive to Italian political developments after the country's coalition proposed a budget with a higher-than-expected deficit target.

This has exacerbated tensions with other euro zone leaders and worried investors who want Rome to bring its debt under control.

The politician, Claudio Borghi, later rowed back on the comments, while Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the euro was "unrenounceable".

But that failed to ease pressure on the single currency, which skidded as low as $1.1505, its weakest since 21 August. 

Analysts said that they did not expect the situation in Italy to weigh heavily on the euro in the medium term.

They said there was "no real evidence of contagion" that would worry the European Central Bank and prompt it to postpone plans to end its stimulus programme.

The euro's weakness combined with a further push higher by the dollar, which is regaining its stride despite investor positioning in the greenback looking stretched.

Most of the common currency's losses came after Mr Borghi, the economic head of the right-wing League party, said Italy would enjoy more favourable economic conditions outside the euro zone. 

Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, who accuses European Union officials of deliberately upsetting financial markets with negative comments about Italy's budget plans, also unnerved investors by reiterating that it would not change its fiscal deficit targets. 

Even if the EU does not reject Italy's budget, it could still act as a hurdle for the euro, strategists said, especially as some analysts expect credit ratings agencies shortly to downgrade Italy's government debt.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar - often viewed as a barometer of risk appetite - fell 0.9% $0.7162 as markets worldwide were spooked by the euro zone concerns. 

The Reserve Bank of Australia earlier held interest rates at 1.5%, a widely expected decision.