At the beginning of last week the euro was looking good. It was leading the field with a 2.3% gain over sterling from the previous Monday morning. As the weekend approached the euro looked rather less impressive. Compared with the previous Friday morning's levels it was down by a quarter of a US cent and had lost a cent and a quarter to the current major-currency leader - the pound.

Last week's economic data supported the view that US interest rates will begin to rise before the end of the year and that UK rates will not be far behind while Euroland rates are not going anywhere for at least 12 months. And now Greece is back in the frame: The IMF has said it will not contribute to a bailout without the debt relief for Greece which Germany has so far refused to countenance.