The Aussie was in the back half of the major currency field, alongside the US dollar. It strengthened by a little over a cent against sterling, which languished at the bottom of the pile. With the exception of construction work done (down by -0.7% in the first quarter of the year) there were no significant Australian economic data to inspire or worry investors. The dollar was, however, hurt by news that Moody's had downgraded the credit rating of Australia's biggest customer, China.
Economic data from the UK were unhelpful, compounding the unease that investors already felt about the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without a trade deal. Public sector borrowing exceeded expectations in April and the CBI reported softer-than-expected retail sales in May. The most damaging figure was the downward revision to first quarter growth from 0.3% to an even feebler 0.2%: investors were not impressed.