Continental Europe in August is not a happening place.  Politicians, business people and investors are more inclined to spend the month relaxing than they are to make major decisions or do big deals.  That makes for a reactive, not a proactive euro and so it was over the last seven days.  The single currency was literally unchanged against the US dollar at $1.1142 and minutely lower against the Swiss franc.  Euroland ecostats were mostly alright, the exception being an unexpected -0.8% monthly fall in French industrial production.

Sterling could have done with a break too but it hasn't had one yet.  Early in the week it was hit by an article in the Times, penned by MPC member Ian McCafferty, which reinforced the idea that near-zero interest rates and extended quantitative easing are on the way.  The pound was the weakest performer among the major currencies, losing one and a half euro cents.