For the most part, the US economic data did not present a compelling case for investors to buy the dollar. Consumer confidence was slightly lower. Manufacturing activity grew more slowly. An increase in factory orders no more than cancelled out the previous two month declines. The one good number was the services sector purchasing managers' index which, at 60.3, was the strongest reading in eight years.

It was the Atlanta Fed president that took the dollar ahead with his comment that only a "significant deterioration" in the economy could persuade him not to vote for higher interest rates next month. With September rate increase now clearly in the frame the dollar strengthened by a quarter of a cent against the euro and by a cent against the pound. Sterling lost ground on evidence that the Bank of England is less eager for higher rates than previously thought.