The three weakest currencies of the week were, in order, the US dollar, the British pound and the euro. At the back of the field the dollar was hampered by weaker-than-expected jobs numbers last Friday and by a particularly disappointing survey of the US services sector, which showed a surprising contraction of activity in August. Sterling, having benefitted from unexpectedly good purchasing managers' index readings, dropped the baton after the Bank of England governor told parliament's Treasury Committee that UK interest rates could go even lower this year.

The euro received a late boost from the European Central Bank, which failed to announce fresh stimulus measures after Thursday's Governing Council meeting. The ECB turned out to be less eager than investors had thought for rate cuts and asset purchases. Over the seven days the euro added three quarters of a US cent and strengthened by half a cent against sterling.