The Australian dollar had the dubious privilege of being the week's weakest performer among the major currencies. It lost a quarter of a cent to the US dollar, which did almost as badly, and fell by three cents against sterling. The Aussie's main problem was with the price of oil. On Wednesday OPEC let it be known that, in concert with Russia, it would be reducing output from the beginning of next year. The price of oil rose by 10% in 24 hours and as it did so the price of the Australian dollar fell by 2% against the US dollar.

Sterling had another winning week, strengthening by an average of 0.8% against the other dozen most actively-traded currencies. The UK economic data were no great shakes but political issues in Euroland provided a useful distraction from Brexit. The Bank of England governor and the minister of Brexit also helped when they floated their ideas about Britain's transition out of the EU.