A messy week for the dollar saw it strengthening against sterling for three days before settling into a choppy one-cent range, which eventually left it with a net two-cent gain against the pound. The dollar also took one cent off the euro but only after a bit of a tussle. In the end it was the same old factors that helped the dollar ahead: US interest rates are expected to move higher next month, euro zone rates could well move even lower than they already are and UK interest rates might remain stuck at their current level for another year.

The US economic data tended to support that view, although they were not all helpful. There were disappointments in personal spending, consumer confidence and manufacturing activity while the services sector turned out to be more vibrant than previously thought and durable goods orders put in a strong showing in October.