Antipodeans diverge
Today's shocking news is that there is a global Lego shortage. How odd that the world has an oversupply of steel and a dearth of plastic toy bricks. How strange also that the Kiwi that was in surplus on Tuesday is in greatest demand today.

Two days ago the NZ dollar took a tumble as a result of milk prices falling for the first time in two months. This morning it made back more than half that loss after Bill English, New Zealand's finance minister, made positive comments about the currency. He observed that the NZ dollar has "adjusted quite considerably" and that the government budget is roughly in balance. Investors inferred that meant there would be less downward pressure on interest rates and took the Kiwi a cent higher on the day.

Meanwhile, the Aussie headed in the opposite direction after a second major bank increased its mortgage rate. The inference there was that the Reserve Bank of Australia would have more scope to lower its cash rate without fuelling house inflation. Overall the Australian dollar was down by almost two cents on the day. The South African rand fell twice as far after the finance minister Nhlanhla Nene revised down the country's growth projections in his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

Dizzy Loonie
The Canadian currency suffered a third reversal of fortune on Wednesday, losing two cents to sterling. This time it was the fault of the central bank, not politics, and it cost the Loonie two cents.

Although the Bank of Canada kept its benchmark interest rate steady at 0.5% the governor was cautious about the length of time it would take for the economy to recover from the fall in energy and mineral prices. The bank cut its expectation for growth this year to 1.0% and revised down to 2.0% its forecast for 2016. The Loonie reacted negatively to the BoC statement and to the subsequent comments of Governor Stephen Poloz.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney's eagerly-awaited speech in Oxford last night touched, as expected, upon the EU referendum and how it could affect the bank's efforts to maintain monetary and financial stability. Reading between the lines Mr Carney would prefer the country to remain in the EU but a preference for the status quo is hardly surprising in a central banker.

Draghi alert
Today's main event will be the European Central Bank president's press conference following the Governing Council meeting in Malta. Most economists expect an increase in the scale of the ECB's quantitative easing programme but do not expect it to be wheeled out today.

Assuming no QE announcement, the euro's fortunes will depend on the tone of Mario Draghi's comments. Whilst he is unlikely to say anything positive for the euro, the absence of negative remarks could still help the single currency.

Thursday's ecostats cover US jobless claims, Euroland consumer confidence and UK and Canadian retail sales. Sterling will be sensitive to the sales data.