Although the Canadian dollar did much better than the South African rand it was the feeblest performer among the major currencies. The Loonie lost half a US cent and fell a cent and a half against sterling. It was way off the pace of last week's leader, falling by -3% against the euro.

The Loonie got off to a poor start with the news last Friday week that the Canadian economy shrank by an annualised -0.6% in the first quarter of the year. The figure was nothing like the 0.3% growth that investors had been expecting. Last Wednesday's trade figures were of no great help either; imports and exports both fell and the deficit was wider than forecast.

The most important ecostats this week will be Friday's Canadian and US employment figures. The Canadian number is of the greatest importance but investors also watch the US number because the two economies are so closely related.