Next week's referendum on Britain's continued membership of the EU has moved on from being a purely domestic issue: it is now seen by investors as a threat to the world economy. Central bankers in Washington and Tokyo made that point when both the Bank of Japan and the Federal Reserve mentioned the Brexit risk as a factor in their decisions not to alter monetary policy.

The new nervousness brought an end two weeks of upward progress for the “commodity" dollars; the Aussie, the Loonie and the Kiwi. It did not amount to a reversal though: the Australian dollar lost a scant third of a US cent and it was up by two cents against sterling.

The Australian ecostats were mostly positive: Although consumer and business confidence edged lower the economy created 18k jobs in May and unemployment was steady at 5.7%. Decent retail sales and employment numbers from Britain were overshadowed by the looming referendum.