Having waited all last week for a speech last Friday by Janet Yellen, the head of the US Federal Reserve, investors felt somewhat let down when she failed to say anything new and concrete about the outlook for interest rates. Her deputy tried to give the impression that there could be two increases this year but the market was unconvinced. The dollar was one of the better performers, picking up a cent against the euro, but it still lost three quarters of a cent to the pound. Sterling was helped by better-than-expected UK data and by a further reduction in speculative short positions.

This week investors have been waiting for today's US employment report. The monthly change in nonfarm payrolls is seen as critical to the Fed's policy decision in three weeks' time. An increase substantially greater than the forecast 180k would be likely to send the dollar higher.