It was a reasonable week for the Australian dollar, which was not far behind the leaders. Against the pound the Aussie had to give back half a cent but it did manage to add a dozen ticks against the US dollar. There was little among the few Australian economic data either to inspire or discourage investors. The 1.9% annual rise in the wage price index for the fourth quarter of 2016 was identical to the figure for Q3. Construction output in the same three months was down by -0.2%.

While the US dollar was hampered by uncertainty about when the Federal Reserve will get on with increasing interest rates the pound was buffeted by technical factors and swings in sentiment. On three days sterling led the major currency pack: on two it took the wooden spoon. It eventually managed an overall win but the pound's supporters would have preferred it to have done so in a less exciting fashion.