It was just as well that investors were not relying on the Australian economic data to inspire them during the last seven days. There was not much they could have made out of slower new home sales, roughly steady growth in lending to the private sector or the slight improvement in manufacturing sector activity. However, there was plenty to occupy them in the aftermath of Britain’s EU membership referendum as political leadership in Westminster crumbled and hopes of higher US interest rates faded.
A week ago it looked as though the "risky" commodity-related currencies would be the victims of general Brexit-related uncertainty. As the week drew on, though, the absence of any fresh shocks allowed some optimism to return and investors drifted away from the safe-haven yen and Swiss franc. The Aussie added one and a half US cents and strengthened by four cents against sterling. Next up: Australia's general election on Saturday.