Last week was messy for the commodity-oriented currencies, principally because investors were twitchy about China and Euroland. In China the Shanghai stock index continued the plunge it began a month ago and in Greece the people's referendum rejection of its creditors' proposals for reform and austerity made it look more likely that the euro was about to lose one of its members. Then the Chinese government took unusual steps to support share prices and a volte face by the Greek government led investors to believe a deal was at hand.

As sentiment blew hot and cold the Aussie twice covered a four-cent range, weakening in response to bad news from China and Greece then strengthening after strong domestic employment data coincided with better news from abroad. In the end it lost a net one US cent and was down by two fifths of a cent to sterling.