The Japanese yen firmed against its major counterparts in the Asian session on Wednesday, as a sell-off in tech stocks, Brexit worries and AstraZeneca's pause of its coronavirus vaccine trial dampened the risk sentiment.

AstraZeneca has halted its late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial due to a potentially unexplained illness in a U.K. volunteer, according to reports citing an email statement issued by the company's spokesperson.

The potential vaccine is being developed by the pharmaceutical giant in partnership with Oxford University. It is being studied in thousands of patients in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company reportedly said it voluntarily paused vaccination to allow review of safety data by an independent committee.

The news diminished hopes of a swift recovery from the pandemic and aggravated the risk-off mood.

The yen climbed to an 8-day high of 105.79 against the greenback, near a 6-week high of 136.74 against the pound and more than a 5-week high of 115.16 against the franc, off its early lows of 106.05, 137.69 and 115.50, respectively. The yen is seen finding resistance around 101.00 against the greenback, 132.00 against the pound and 111.00 against the franc.

The yen rose back to 124.45 against the euro, heading towards more than a 4-week peak of 124.42 hit early in the session. If the yen rises further, 122.00 is likely seen as its next resistance level.

The yen advanced to 79.81 versus the loonie, its highest level since August 11. The yen is likely to find resistance around the 78.00 level.

In contrast, the yen eased to 76.60 versus the aussie and 70.30 versus the kiwi, from more than a 2-week high of 76.11 and a 2-week high of 69.87, respectively seen in previous deals. On the downside, 78.00 and 72.00 are likely seen as its next support levels versus the aussie and the kiwi, respectively.

Looking ahead, Canada housing starts data for August is set for release at 8:15 am ET.

At 10:00 am ET, the Bank of Canada announces decision on interest rates. Economists forecast the benchmark rate to remain at 0.25 percent.

NZD vs Yen (FX:NZDJPY)
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