Among the major currencies the winners were the US dollar and the British pound, with the Australian dollar not far behind. Canada's dollar was among the back-markers, alongside the euro and the NZ dollar. The specific link between the three leaders was strong national employment data. In the case of the United States, last Friday's report by the Bureau of Labor showed a monthly increase of 271k in nonfarm payrolls and added a further 12k in revisions to earlier months. The strong numbers reinforced expectations that a rate increase by the Federal Reserve could be imminent.

The dollar had to hand back its gains over the following three days, not least because the UK jobs data were also better than expected: Unemployment touched a seven-year low of 5.3%. So the pound and the dollar were unchanged against one another. The dollar strengthened by a cent - nearly 1% - against the euro.