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 Loonie fared less well than its antipodean cousins: The Canadian dollar's close association with the US dollar acted as a brake on its progress (just as, when things are moving the other way, the Loonie tends to suffer less than the Aussie and the Kiwi). Even so, it strengthened by a cent and a quarter against sterling and by one and a half US cents.