Good week for sterling

Greece reopens
The good news: Bank customers in Greece who, for three weeks, have had their withdrawals limited to €60 a day can now take out €420. The bad news: It's €420 a week.

So the Greek demos can now visit the bank again. As yet there is not much they will be able to do once inside but it is a step towards normality. Another will come in a couple of days' time when the stock market reopens. Investors' joy is not unbridled though: the euro had a sixth consecutive losing day on Friday, taking its loss on the week to nearly five cents against sterling, or 3.5%. 

The NZ dollar was the overnight winner, rebounding from six-year lows against the pound and the US dollar. The rationale seemed to be that investors' were reining in their expectations for Thursday's Reserve Bank of New Zealand policy decision. Towards the end of last week there had been talk of a 50-basis-point cut that would lower the Official Cash Rate from 3.25% to 2.75%. Today the prediction it that it will go down no further than 3%. 

Sterling wins the week
The US dollar was the second-best-performing major currency on Friday, adding half a cent against sterling and three quarters of a cent against the euro. It was helped by confirmation that US inflation had turned positive after five months at or below zero. 

The uptick to 0.1% was hardly a revelation but it reinforced the view that American interest rates will move higher this year. That outlook also contributed to a 3% fall in the price of gold, which touched a five-year low. The Swedish krona was the biggest loser, falling by 1% despite a prediction by Goldman Sachs that it would strengthen over the next year. 

The krona and Kiwi were the outliers. Sterling was roughly steady against the Canadian dollar, the Norwegian krone and the South African rand. It went up by an average of 0.2% against the other dozen most actively-traded currencies, cementing its first-place position for the week with an average gain of 2.3%.

Inspiration-free agenda
Investors will be hard-pushed to find anything useful among today's economic statistics. Japan is on holiday and there are no data whatsoever from the United States. 

Ahead of London's opening China's house price index showed a tenth month of decline. It was accompanied by a sharp jump in net lending to people and companies. Germany's producer price index fell fractionally in June and was down by -1.4% on the year. Rightmove's index of asking prices for UK residential property went up by 0.1% in July and is 5.1% higher than for the same month last year.

The only other ecostats on today's list are for Euroland's current account, Portuguese inflation and trade and Canadian wholesale sales. Tonight New Zealand reports on visitor arrivals and the Reserve Bank of Australia publishes the minutes of its July policy meeting. Pick the bones out of that.