Having stormed into the lead at the end of the previous week, as a result of the European Central Bank apparently pulling its punch on fresh quantitative easing, the euro held onto most of its gains over the last seven days.

Last Friday the ECB president attempted to justify the modest scale of the measures he had announced the previous day but investors were not convinced. With Germany and four other members voting against even that limited action the sensation is that the ECB has almost run out of bullets.

There were no top-tier economic statistics out of Euroland, though gross domestic product was confirmed to have grown by 0.3% in the third quarter of the year. The euro was just about unchanged against the pound and the US dollar though it did lose half a cent to the safe-haven Swiss franc.