Last week was a difficult week all round for the commodity-related currencies. The Aussie got off lightest, losing half a US cent and falling by four and three quarter cents against sterling to a six-year low. (By way of consolation, the NZ dollar also touched its lowest level since April 2009 and the Canadian dollar hit a seven-year low.)

None of the Australian economic statistics was particularly troubling to the Aussie. A fall in mortgage lending did no damage and weaker consumer confidence was offset by improved business confidence.

The problem was the same old one; Australia's economy is not at its brilliant best. By contrast, central bankers in Washington and London were telling congressional and parliamentary committees that interest rates are about to turn upwards, "this year" in the States and "around the turn of the year" in Britain. Sterling achieved the week's best result and the US dollar took silver.