The dollar got lucky once but its gains on that occasion were not enough to balance its two unlucky setbacks. Setback one came last Friday, following the US employment report. Whilst the jobs numbers themselves were actually better than forecast, investors were dismayed at a small decline in hourly wages so they punished the dollar. Setback two was on Thursday, when new monetary policy measures announced by the European Central Bank took the euro higher and, with it, the pound.

The dollar's only stroke of luck was on Tuesday, when sterling fell after the Bank of England governor told parliament that Britain's exit from the EU poses "the biggest domestic risk to financial stability". The dollar was not the weakest performer among the major currencies but it did not do at all well. It lost one cent to sterling and two and a quarter cents to the week's leader, the euro.