As you were

Commodity-driven rally
A chap was refused a drink in Penclawdd, Wales, because the barman said he was intoxicated. He proved it when he returned in a JCB and demolished part of the pub: his own pub. Luckily for them, he doesn't own any NZ dollars or Norwegian kroner.

The Kiwi and the krone both got a lift from commodity prices on Tuesday, and it hasn't often been possible to say that for a wee while. For the krone it was a three-dollar increase in the price of oil, said to be driven by falling stocks and reduced production. Norway is heavily dependent on oil exports. In the case of the NZ dollar the boost came from a 9.9% rise in the Global Dairy Trade index, which has now rebounded by 63% from its mid-August low. Dairy farming is an important part of the NZ economy.

Neither currency raced ahead but their 0.8% rise - one and three quarter NZ cents - was enough to put them in the lead on a day when not a whole lot else was going on. The Swedish krona took third place with a 0.5% rise and the Swiss franc was fourth with a gain of 0.4%, two thirds of a cent. The US dollar came last for the second time in three days, losing four fifths of a cent to sterling.

No surprises
Two central bankers were on display yesterday, the European Central Bank's Mario Draghi and the San Francisco Federal Reserve's John Williams. Neither went out of his way to illuminate investors on monetary policy.

Mr Williams toed the majority line at the Fed, saying that the 142k rise in nonfarm payrolls last month should not be an obstacle to higher interest rates and implying that a tightening move this year remains on the cards. He commented that "it shouldn't be the case that no one is expecting rate increase." Mr Draghi was introducing a new art exhibition at the ECB headquarters and stayed completely away from monetary policy matters.

Tuesday's other ecostats showed Swiss deflation steady at -1.4% and wider-than-expected trade deficits for Canada and the States. Overnight, the Australian construction sector purchasing mangers' index came in two points lower at 51.9 but left the Aussie dollar unscathed.

Hard on the heels of yesterday's fall in factory orders, Germany reported earlier today that industrial output had declined by -1.2% in August. There are more production data to come from Norway and the United Kingdom.

The UK industrial and manufacturing production statistics have been the bane of sterling in recent months, disappointing more often than they have delighted the market. The forecasts for today have industrial output rising by just 0.3% while manufacturing production is said to have fallen by -0.1% in August.

The only important data from North America relate to Canadian building permits. However, it is possible in the light of yesterday's action that the weekly change in US oil stocks could attract attention.