There were not many €Z economic statistics to keep investors entertained as they waited for Thursday’s policy announcement from the European Central Bank. Euroland's balance of trade surplus widened in February but only as a result of the seasonal cycle. Construction output dipped, leaving it just 2.5% higher on the year. Consumer confidence improved slightly. And that was all.

When ECB President Mario Draghi eventually made his appearance on Thursday he had no surprises for investors. Interest rates remained unchanged and there was no alteration to the bank's asset purchase programme, though he did make the obligatory comment that stimulus could be stepped up if necessary.

The overall effect was to leave the euro a quarter of a cent higher against the US dollar. It lost a cent and a half to sterling, which was the week's top-performing major currency for the first time in a long while.