An even more difficult week for the Australian dollar left it in last place among the major currencies, falling by an average of -0.4% against the other dozen most actively-traded currencies. It lost four fifths of a cent to sterling and two fifths of a US cent. With the exception of a three-point fall in the manufacturing sector Purchasing Managers' Index the decline of the Aussie was not really its own fault.

Its stumbling blocks were external; lower commodity and energy prices and a negative (below 50) manufacturing PMI from Australia's biggest customer, China. Sterling's ride was not exactly smooth either. It took a hit when one opinion poll suggested that no party would win an overall majority in Thursday's general election. Investors' worries faded, however, when other polls continued to point to a workable majority for the Conservative party, if not the landslide suggested at the beginning of the campaign.