The Australian dollar was the weakest performer among the commodity- and energy- related currencies. It was able to take half a cent off the week's uncontested wooden-spoon-holder, the US dollar, but fell by two thirds of a cent against sterling. 

Some of the Australian economic data were decent enough: According to the purchasing managers' indices manufacturing activity continued to grow in January (though only just) and the services sector slowed by less than expected. But a -5% fall in exports meant a wider-than-expected trade deficit in December and retail sales were flat for that month.

The Reserve Bank of Australia did not help matters for the Aussie when it noted "heightened volatility" in financial markets and "uncertainty about the global economic outlook". Even though the situation is not peculiar to Australia, the Aussie took the comment personally because it came from the RBA.