The antipodean dollars both lost ground to the pound and the US dollar. The root cause of their decline was a further fall in commodity prices and renewed turmoil (an 8.5% one-day price plunge) on the Shanghai stock exchange. Over the week the Australian dollar was all but unchanged against the US and NZ dollars and it lost more than a cent to sterling.

There was the usual paucity of Australian economic data. Import prices rose by 1.4% in the second quarter while export prices were down by -4.4%. Building permits went down by -8.2% in June. None of those numbers were an incentive to buy the Aussie. The week ahead will be busier. Tuesday brings the retail sales and balance of trade data for June and on Thursday the important employment figures come out. The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate steady at 2% when the board meets on Tuesday.