An average week for the euro left it unchanged, on average, against the other dozen most actively-traded currencies. It added one US cent and strengthened by more than a cent and a half against the last-placed British pound. Over the last month it was the top-performing major currency, picking up two and a third cents against sterling.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent the euro half a cent higher on Monday when she said "the euro is too weak - that is because of European Central Bank policy". The €Z economic data were broadly helpful too, especially those from Germany. That was not the case with sterling: the CBI reported weaker-than-expected retail sales in June and Britain's first quarter growth was revised down from 0.3% to an even feebler 0.2%. Investors are not holding their breath for any imminent improvement in the UK economy.