Sterling and the Australian dollar shared second place for the week behind the US dollar. The Greenback's margin of victory was narrow - just a dozen ticks. Across the board, currency placings were decided more by politics and hyperbole than by hard economic data. The only top-tier ecostat from the major economies was last Friday's US employment report. Australia's contributions were a tiny increase in new home sales, an even tinier decline in retail sales and a slight improvement in construction sector activity.
Domestically, the greatest help came from the Reserve Bank of Australia when it kept its Cash Rate benchmark unchanged at 1.5% for a seventh month. The tone of the accompanying statement was more optimistic than expected. Externally, talk of higher UK interest rates helped the pound and the US president helped the Greenback. Investors were pleased when he softened his attitude to China and impressed by his mention of a "phenomenal" announcement about taxation.