A mediocre week for the euro saw it strengthen by a cent and a quarter against sterling while it lost half a US cent. The dominant theme was next week's UK referendum on continued membership of the EU and it was not just the pound that was affected: Investors around the world suddenly realised that Britain's exit, were it to happen, could have an unsettling effect on other economies, not least that of the euro zone.

The looming Brexit shadow meant that investors paid much less than the usual attention to economic data. As it happened, the few from Euroland either met or exceeded forecasts: Industrial production rebounded by 1.1% and the trade surplus widened in April; employment increased by 0.3% in the first quarter; inflation was unchanged at 0--0.1% in May. There were also decent retail sales and employment numbers from the UK, but they didn't do sterling much good.