Broadly lower commodity prices weighed on their producers' currencies, as did the growing certainty that the Federal Reserve will take US interest rates another notch higher this month. The Loonie lost more than one and a half US cents. It added a third of a cent against sterling, which narrowly avoided last place for the week. The Canadian economic data were on the whole upbeat. Inflation jumped from 1.5% to 2.1% and gross domestic product expanded by 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Sterling continued to move in the same arbitrary pattern that it fell into towards the end of last month, topping the major currency league one day and tailing it the next. There was mostly no rhyme or reason to its vacillations: on one occasion it dropped to the back of the field after The Times wrote about the possibility of a second Scottish independence referendum.