The Australian dollar put in the strongest weekly performance among the major currencies, adding one US cent and rising by three and a half cents against sterling. In the much-shortened week between Christmas and New Year there were no important economic data or news to influence its direction. However, the US dollar was held back by the sense of anticlimax that has surrounded it since the Fed's small interest rate increase and the pound was feeling the effect of fading expectations of any rate increase at all in 2016.

It has not been not been a disastrous year for the Aussie, which has fared better than its cousins in New Zealand and Canada. But neither has it been a good one, with losses of -7% to sterling and -11% to the US dollar. The Australian dollar's fortunes could improve in 2016 but only if commodity prices pick up.