Last Friday's news that US wages were outpacing prices by 2.9% to 2.1% put the cat among the pigeons. Investors saw it as the writing on the wall for accelerating inflation. They assumed that this would make the Federal Reserve more energetic in raising interest rates, making the dollar more attractive and assets like stocks and shares and "risky" currencies less so. The dollar added two and a third cents against the euro and more than three cents against sterling.

The pound might have had a worse run had it not been for the Bank of England governor. Mark Carney drew attention to above-target inflation and suggested that interest rate increases might come sooner and more quickly than investors had previously believed. It was not enough to make investors commit whole-heartedly to the pound but it did soften the impact of fresh stories about Brexit paralysis in Downing Street.