LONDON (AFP) - The yen surged on Wednesday to a three-year high against the euro and a six-month pinnacle against the dollar amid a fierce sell-off on stock markets across the world. In morning London trade, the European single currency slid as low as 134.17 yen " a level not seen since September 2005. Elsewhere, the euro rose to 1.3618 dollars from 1.3599 dollars on Tuesday. The US currency sank to 98.61 yen " the lowest point since late March. It later stood at 99.49 yen, down sharply from 101.38 yen in New York on Tuesday. In commodity markets, the price of gold jumped above 900 dollars per ounce, winning support from its status as a haven amid economic uncertainty. Oil prices sank close to one-year lows near 80 dollars a barrel as plunging stocks generated fresh fears of slowing energy demand, traders said. "The crisis has a lot further to run and, for the currency markets, this seems to mean a much stronger yen," Steve Barrow, senior currency strategist with Standard Bank in London, told Dow Jones Newswires. Speculators have for years been taking advantage of Japan's cheap credit to borrow the low-yielding yen and then use it to fund higher-yield investments in other currencies " a market bet known as a "carry trade." But amid the current turmoil, investors have been getting rid of these riskier holdings, strengthening the Japanese currency, which had been previously used as essentially a source of cheap cash to invest elsewhere. There has been a "mass exodus" from risky assets funded in yen, RBS Securities analysts said in a note. It said developments were taking place "with intensities not seen since the Asian crisis" 10 years ago. "Yen buying is likely to continue for now as there are surely no factors to support the dollar," said Hironobu Hagi, deputy general manager at the capital markets division of Shinsei Bank. The stronger yen was also a major factor driving down stock prices as it makes Japanese exports " a key driver of the faltering economy " less competitive overseas and eats into repatriated earnings. Stock markets across Asia and Europe plunged on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei index dropped 9.38 percent, its biggest one-day lost since the market crash of 1987. Elsewhere, sterling climbed against the dollar as the British currency was boosted by the 50-billion-pound part-nationalisation of the country's main banks as part of a massive emergency bailout package. Markets were also looking ahead to a Group of Seven meeting on Friday gathering central bank chiefs and other financial authorities, trying to see if they would draft further action to stem the crisis. In morning trading in London on Wednesday, the euro changed hands at 1.3618 dollars against 1.3599 late Tuesday, at 135.55 yen (137.92), 0.7767 pounds (0.7783) and 1.5480 Swiss francs (1.5492). The dollar stood at 99.49 yen (101.38) and 1.1379 Swiss francs (1.1389). The pound was at 1.7514 dollars (1.7466). On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold jumped to 913.90 dollars an ounce from 876.75 dollars late Tuesday.