It was not the best ever seven days for the dollar, which brought up the rear among the major currencies, losing half a cent to the pound and three quarters of a cent to the euro. The dollar got off to a bad start last Friday when the US employment report showed fewer than expected new jobs were created in August. It was also hampered by disappointing purchasing managers' index readings, particularly the one on Tuesday that showed slowing activity in the services sector. Together the numbers made the Federal Reserve appear less likely to raise interest rates this year.

Sterling enjoyed an initial boost from some surprisingly good British PMIs but suffered a setback when the Bank of England governor told parliament's Treasury Committee that a further rate cut is possible this year. The euro received some late help on Thursday when the European Central Bank failed to deliver the additional stimulus that many had expected.