The dollar came within a whisker of being the week's top performer, beaten only by the New Zealand dollar. As much as anything it was euro weakness that accounted for its success. On Thursday the European Central Bank president startled investors when he dropped the heaviest possible hints that there would be an escalation or extension to its money-printing quantitative easing programme. As they abandoned the euro investors' reflex was to move into the most obvious alternative, the US dollar, and the pound was left behind in the scramble.

None of the American data or events brought much to the table. US industrial production declined slightly in September and jobless claims were fewer than expected. A handful of Federal Reserve bosses made speeches but none touched on monetary policy. In the end the dollar strengthened by two thirds of a cent against sterling and picked up two and three quarter cents against the benighted euro.