The week's few Australian economic statistics gave investors little to work with. New motor vehicle sales were down by -3.6% in October but up by 4.2% on the year. The minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy meeting offered no new insight into the direction and timing of interest rate adjustments. Neither did speeches by two RBS assistant governors shed any light on the matter.

Unusually, it was the minutes of the US Federal Reserve policy meeting that had the biggest impact on the Aussie. They removed any fear that future interest rate increases by the Fed - probably starting next month - would be anything other than small in scale and slow to materialise.

Investors therefore saw the Fed minutes as positive for most of the commodity currencies. The Australian dollar picked up two thirds of a US cent on the week and strengthened by nearly a cent against sterling.