Among the major currencies sterling was the biggest loser. Even to start with, investors were none too keen on it but they really took flight when a speech by the Bank of England governor pushed back even further expectations for higher UK interest rates. The euro therefore strengthened against the pound but its lead was seriously eroded on Thursday, leaving it in penultimate position in the big league. Over the week the euro added a cent against sterling and lost half a US cent.

The euro's undermining was achieved, single-handedly, by European Central Bank president Mario Draghi at his press conference on Thursday. He dropped the heaviest of hints that the ECB would announce increased stimulus and even lower rates after its next policy meeting in March. Although investors were stung by the bank's failure to deliver on a similar promise last month they swallowed Sig. Draghi's words as avidly as ever.