Less than a fifth of a cent separated the euro from the week's joint losers, the US dollar and the pound. The single currency fell by an average of -0.5% against the other dozen most actively-traded currencies. There were two angles to the euro's problems. One was the Euroland economic data, which were more inclined to disappoint than to impress. Notably, fourth quarter growth for both the euro zone and Germany came in below forecast at a provisional 0.4%, lagging the United States' 0.5% and Britain's 0.6%. The other irritant was politics, with right-wing anti-EU candidates continuing to lead the polls in France and the Netherlands.

The dollar's problems related principally to Donald Trump's anarchic cabinet and to his "I'm not ranting and raving" press conference on Thursday. Sterling's were down to the UK ecostats: inflation was lower than expected at 1.8% and wage growth slowed from 2.8% to 2.6%.