Data from the States were not as punchy as the dollar's supporters might have liked. The 0.1% increase in retail sales for October marked a second month of feeble growth and the -0.4% fall in producer prices revealed a third month of static or falling factory gate prices. Inflation picked up a little though: Consumer prices were up by 0.2% in the year to October and the core rate, which ignores the cost of food and energy, was steady at 1.9%. 

The minutes of the Federal Reserve's October policy meeting confirmed investors' expectation that US interest rates are likely to move higher in December but they also implied that subsequent increases would be slow to come and small in scale.

Investors were given no new reason to buy the dollar. It did pick up two thirds of cent against the lumbering euro but lost three quarters of a cent to sterling.