The antipodean dollars both lost ground to the pound and the US dollar. The root cause of their decline was a further fall in commodity prices and renewed turmoil (an 8.5% one-day price plunge) on the Shanghai stock exchange. Throughout last the week the NZ dollar was all but unchanged against the US and Australian dollars and it lost a cent and a half to sterling.

It was an up-and-down week for the Kiwi. On Monday and Tuesday it was the top performer among the major currencies; on Wednesday and Thursday it was at the back of the pack. The only NZ economic ecostats to guide investors were a -4.1% monthly fall in building permits and a four-year low for the ANZ index of business confidence. Investors couldn't care less about the former but they swung into full-on selling mode when they saw the rotten confidence reading.