Although it could not come close to matching the South African rand's class-leading performance the Aussie cruised to a comfortable second place. It strengthened by 0.9% against the week's joint losers, adding two thirds of a US cent and rising by a cent and a half against sterling. The soft Australian data looked good, with business confidence improving by four points to 10 and consumer confidence up by two points at 99.6. The hard data were less compelling: unemployment ticked down to 5.7% with the addition of 13.5k new jobs but there was a marked swing from full-time to part-time working.

The US dollar's weakness appeared to stem from disarray in the White House and the president's assertion at a press conference that "I'm not ranting and raving. Sterling's problem was disappointing UK economic data: inflation was lower than forecast at 1.8% and wage growth slowed despite a fall in jobless claims.