In the fortnight since the European Central Bank surprised investors by its failure to announce significant new monetary stimulus the euro (together with its constant companion, the Swiss franc) has been the top performer among the major currencies. Over the last seven days it has not achieved such a leading position, mainly because the US dollar has hogged the limelight, but it has still picked up three quarters of a cent against sterling.

Investors now believe they know where they stand with monetary policy in the United States, Britain and Euroland. The US Federal Reserve is moving interest rates higher, as demonstrated by a quarter-percentage-point increase on Wednesday. The ECB is not going to relax policy much further, if at all. And the prospect of higher sterling rates looks increasingly remote following the slowdown in UK wage growth reported on Wednesday.