Two broad moves took the Australian dollar higher against sterling in the first half of the week and lower in the second. The net result was a gain of half a cent for the Aussie against the pound and a loss of a third of a cent to the US dollar. Two ecostats and one statement accounted for most of the Aussie's success. Retail sales increased in January and the construction industry reported a return to growth in February. The statement was from the Reserve Bank of Australia when it kept the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.5%: its upbeat tone dispelled any thoughts of a rate cut.

The US dollar's advantage over the Aussie was the near certainty that the Federal Reserve will raise its own benchmark rate on Wednesday. The pound's disadvantage was a couple of weak ecostats: services sector firms reported less vibrant activity and the CBI reported falling retail sales.