The Australian economic data came and went without fuss. There weren't many of them and they were not hugely important. Private sector lending was just about on target, private capital spending fell slightly in the fourth quarter and January's new home sales were disappointing. The main downward pressures on the Aussie came from the United States, first because US interest rates could rise more quickly than previously thought and second because the president intends to impose steep taxes on imported steel and aluminium. Investor fear that those tariffs and retaliatory measures by other countries will be bad for trade and bad for the Aussie. The currency lost two thirds of a US cent but added half a cent against sterling.
The pound's (perennial) problem was Brexit talk. This time it was the EC president and two former prime ministers what weighed in against the government's strategy. The prime minister will do her best to defend it in a speech this Friday.