Investors paid little regard to the week's New Zealand economic data. They didn't care that electronic card retail sales rose by 1.2% in May or that the Business NZ purchasing managers' index edged lower to 51.5 in April.

What they did care about, very much, was the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's surprise announcement on Thursday that it was cutting its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3.25%. The move was entirely unexpected and it put the skids under the NZ dollar, knocking an immediate four cents off its value.

The Kiwi had no chance of recovering the lost ground and it was by far last week's weakest performer among the major currencies. It lost one and a third US cents and fell by six and a third cents - 3% - against sterling.