Direction required

Dollar comes second
November's best investment turns out to be Mog. The cartoon cat in Sainsbury's TV advertisement, which was offered by the supermarket at £10, has sold out. Investors who missed out are reportedly "furious" that the toy now trades at £30 on the secondary market. America's dollar performed nowhere near as well.

Although Mog's 200% appreciation over the last month eclipses the US dollar's meagre 1.5% rise, the dollar was still the leader among the major currencies. It did reasonably well on Friday too, strengthening by more than a cent against sterling, but it had to make do with silver. The South African rand pipped it to the post for a second successive daily win.

There was no obvious connection between the two currencies, nor was there any compelling reason for the divergence of the Australian and New Zealand dollars (the Kiwi was the day's weakest performer with a three-quarter-cent loss). The only ecostats of any note were for UK public sector borrowing, which was unremarkable, and Canadian inflation, which was steady at 1%. 

Draghi determined
With a bit of imagination it is possible to link some of Friday's moves to a speech by Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank. He said on Friday morning that the governing council "will do what we must" to lift inflation back to its 2% target.

His message was yet another warning that the next policy meeting on 3 December is likely to result in the announcement of fresh stimulus measures from the bank. Exactly what those measures might look like is still up for grabs, but Sig. Draghi hinted that they could include rate cuts and an extension to the asset purchase programme.

The prospect of more quantitative easing from the ECB was positive for the US dollar, for the simple reason that Federal Reserve policy is heading in the opposite direction. It was also helpful to the commodity-oriented currencies, in that it should help build appetite for their countries' exports. It cannot, however, explain why the safe-haven Japanese yen and the allegedly "risky" Australian dollar both went up by the equivalent of one Aussie cent. Nor can it account for the resilience of the euro, which lost just a third of a cent to sterling

The first phase of the monthly purchasing managers' index deluge begins today, with provisional readings from Euroland and the United States. There is not a whole lot more on the ecostat agenda to back them up.

Top billing goes to the PMIs from France and Germany, which make up the lion's share of the pan-euro-zone measures. Both countries are expected to deliver readings similar to those of the previous month. The figures for existing (pre-owned) home sales in the States come out after lunch.

Investors will struggle to find inspiration among data like that. It could mean another day of aimlessness unless the PMIs - or the Euro group meeting in Brussels - throw out something unexpected.