It was not a great week for the Australian dollar. The Aussie fell by nearly two US cents and gave up two thirds of a cent to sterling. Its most notable loss was a 2% decline against the NZ dollar.

To an extent the Aussie's suffering was part of a broader lack of investor appetite for "risky" assets. Global share prices were mostly lower and the South African rand took an much bigger hit than the AUD. But the Australian dollar was singled out (as were the shares of global mining companies) because of the Australian economy's particular reliance on mineral exports to China. Hardly a week goes by without the emergence of some new and gloomy Chinese ecostat and the one just ending was no exception. This time it was a purchasing managers' index, which showed manufacturing activity slowing for an eleventh successive month.