Evans and Williams

Plus ça change, 
When Pedro's, a Norwich Tex-Mex restaurant, handed out promotional Mexican hats to students the university objected that the sombrero is racist to Mexicans. The university remains silent about the Stetson vis-à-vis Texans. Less controversial is the top hat, which on Friday was worn by the Kiwi for a second day.

With no domestic or Chinese data to influence the NZ dollar the buying was driven by technical factors. On Thursday the GBP/NZD exchange rate moved below an uptrend that had supported the pound for five months and on Friday that downward break took it to a one-month low.

At the back of the field the Norwegian krone reprised Thursday's lacklustre performance to hold onto the wooden spoon for a second day, weighed down by concern that the Norges Bank is planning to reduce interests yet further following Thursday's cut. The krone is currently flirting with an 11-year low against sterling and a 7-year low against the euro.

Plus c'est la même chose
None of the major currencies threatened the Kiwi's lead on Friday. Second place was shared by the Australian dollar and the euro, with the US and Canadian dollars, the yen and the Swedish krona hard on their heels. Global ecostats had little influence on the uneventful proceedings.

European economic statistics were thin on the ground and of minimal importance. Italian wages went up by an annual 1.2%, Spanish producer prices were down by -2.2% and Euroland M3 money supply (yawn) increased by 4.8%. A couple of provisional US purchasing managers' indices came in lower on the month but not much lower and the finalised Michigan index of consumer sentiment touched an 11-month low. The final revision to Q2 gross domestic product showed the US economy expanding by a quarterly 1.0%, slightly more than the earlier 0.9% estimate.

More of the same
Today's FX market promises to be no more exciting than the end of last week, with almost no data from Europe and only a handful of ecostats from the States. The highlights are likely to be the comments of two FOMC members who are speaking this evening.

Sweden's balance of trade and retail sales and Italy's consumer and business confidence are all that is on offer this side of the Pond. The US data this afternoon cover pending home sales, the Dallas Fed's manufacturing index and personal income and spending. Although personal income and expenditure are supposed to be important, investors seldom pay them much attention.

After London has closed there will be public appearances by Charles Evans and John Williams, both voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee. Following comments last week from five FOMC members, to the effect that it is still game-on for an interest rate increase this year, investors will be keen to hear what these two chaps are thinking this week. If they were to agree that there could be a move as soon as next month the dollar would surely strengthen.