Investors became steadily less nervous last week. They moved out of safe-haven currencies, notably the Japanese yen, and into shares and commodity-related currencies. That mood began to develop last Friday, when weaker-than-expected US employment data cast further doubt on an early interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve, and intensified as oil prices went up by 10%. Confidence improved further when the minutes of the Fed policy meeting showed no urgency to increase rates.
The Aussie was the biggest major-currency beneficiary of the "risk-on" attitude, strengthening by four and a quarter cents against sterling and by two and a half US cents. It received a particular advantage from the Reserve Bank of Australia's announced that the Cash Rate would remain at 2%. Investors had half-expected the RBA statement to hint at the possibility of further rate cuts in the future. No such hint was to be found and the Aussie was marked higher.