Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, told a high-powered audience on Thursday that "the risks of acting too late outweigh the risks of acting too early" when it comes to fighting low inflation. It reinforced expectations that the ECB will announce fresh easing measures at its next policy meeting in March.

That prospect did less damage to the euro than it might have done just a month or two ago because there is no longer any serious expectation of a UK rate increase this year and there are grave doubts about even the US Federal Reserve's commitment to higher rates. 

Those doubts about the US rate outlook led to the dollar taking last place for the week, falling by two and three quarter cents against the euro for a -2.5% loss. Sterling did not perform quite so badly but was still down by nearly two cents.