Mario Draghi set the tone for the euro last Friday. The European Central Bank president reiterated the governing council's anxiety to get inflation up to its 2% target, saying he and his colleagues "will do what we must" to achieve that goal. The assumption is that next week the bank will pull the trigger on an expansion of its stimulus programme, with more asset purchases and even lower interest rates. That perception put the euro at the back of the major currency field and it lost just over one US cent.

The British pound had an even less successful week, losing a third of a euro cent. The problem there was the growing suspicion that it could be more than a year before UK interest rates move north. Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, fed that doubt when he told parliament rates would remain low "for some time".