During most of the week the Aussie did fairly well, gaining the best part of five cents against sterling. It was helped on its way by some respectable Australian economic data, which showed stronger activity in the manufacturing sector, continuing growth in retail sales and faster growth in gross domestic product, which expanded by 0.9% in the third quarter. The Reserve Bank of Australia also contributed by keeping its benchmark interest rate steady at 2% and making no suggestion of future cuts.

It all fell apart on Thursday though, when the European Central Bank failed to deliver the aggressive money-printing that investors had expected. The absence of that cheap money led investors to buy the euro and to sell the commodity-oriented currencies that would have been expected to benefit from monetary easing. Thursday's dip more than halved the Aussie's earlier gains, leaving it ahead on the week by less than one US cent and just two cents higher against sterling.