It was a better-than-average week for the euro, which strengthened by a cent against the US dollar and added half a Swiss cent. Economic data from Euroland were few and far between and those which did appear were unremarkable. The EU's confidence measures fell short of expectations but investors ignored them as usual. Inflation was on target at a provisional 0.6% while unemployment ticked down to 9.8%. Sterling had an eventful week, more than once lurching higher or lower for no apparent reason and eventually gaining a third of a euro cent.

The coming weekend brings a constitutional referendum in Italy and a presidential election in Austria. Italians are expected to reject Prime Minister Renzi's proposals for constitutional reform and Austria could quite well send the far-right Freedom Party candidate to the Hofburg Palace. Should they occur, both of those results would be likely to undermine appetite for the euro.