Judged by its performance against the US dollar over the shortened pre-Easter week the euro did badly, losing one and a half US cents. It did so despite some €Z economic data that were really quite good. German business confidence rebounded this month by more than forecast and the three provisional pan-Euroland purchasing managers' index reading all met or exceeded forecasts. 

Even so - and with no significant ecostats to help it along - the dollar maintained a steady lead over the euro. It did so because the Federal Reserve mobilised a string of its senior people to talk up expectations of higher interest rates, perhaps as soon as next month.

As if to make up for its losses against the dollar the euro easily beat the pound, strengthening by one and three quarter cents. Sterling's Achilles heel is the possibility of Britain's departure from the EU, a threat that was magnified by the tragic terrorist attacks in Brussels.