The U.S. dollar hit its highest against the yen since late October after better-than-expected U.S. economic data on Thursday.

The dollar traded as high as 78.94 yen, its highest since October 31, when Japan intervened unilaterally in foreign exchange markets to weaken the yen.

New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to a near four-year low, as housing starts rose more than expected in January.