In the United States all eyes were on the Federal Reserve as regional chiefs took turns to opine on the interest rate outlook and the Federal Open Market Committee released the minutes of its July meeting. In Britain all eyes were on the first hard economic data to measure the post-Brexit-vote economy. In Euroland all eyes were on the Mediterranean. By dint of its low profile and uncontroversial ecostats the euro got the best of it, strengthening by two US cents and by half a cent against sterling.

Sterling got off to a rotten start for no solid reason: investors were selling it because it was going down and vice versa. It ended the week looking much perkier, helped by strong UK employment data and even better retail sales figures for July. As for the dollar, nobody is any wiser about when to expect higher interest rates. September remains a theoretical possibility.