The reaction of investors when Emmanuel Macron, their favoured candidate, won the French presidential election looked odd but was not entirely illogical: the euro went down. Following the first round vote investors had spent a fortnight buying the euro in anticipation of his victory. When he did indeed win they hurried to take profit on their speculative purchases. The net result for the euro was a loss of one US cent and it went down by a cent against the pound.

For most of the week sterling was up there with the leaders. It felt the benefit of the imminent election and an improved appetite for risk among investors. On Thursday it came to grief, first with unexpected falls in UK manufacturing and industrial production, second with the Bank of England's interest rate decision. As expected Bank Rate remained at 0.25% but there was disappointment that only one Monetary Policy Committee member voted for an increase.