The commodity-related currencies all ended the week on a high note, courtesy of the European Central Bank. At his press conference on Thursday Mario Draghi, the ECB president, dropped the heaviest possible hints that the bank would escalate or extend its money-printing programme of quantitative easing. The prospect of more free money electrified emerging-market and commodity currencies and the Aussie added a swift two cents.
The ECB development more than offset a setback for the Australian dollar earlier in the day, after a second major bank increased its mortgage lending rate. Given the Reserve Bank of Australia's well-known concern about excessive house price inflation, investors saw the higher mortgage rate as increasing the RBA's scope to lower its Cash Rate. In the end the Australian dollar was unchanged on the week against sterling. It lost a third of a US cent and strengthened by three cents against the benighted euro.