With the Greek pensioners' bonus and the Italian banks' temporary liquidity discomfort quietly put to bed the euro went into the New Year looking steady, if uninspired. It ambled through the first week of 2017, enjoying some decent Euroland economic data without really celebrating them. The purchasing managers' indices, which look at current and anticipated activity in the private sector, were mostly up on the month and better than forecast. Inflation was also higher than expected at a provisional 1.1%.

The euro moved a cent and quarter higher against the US dollar. The Greenback was hurt by the revelation that, because of uncertainty about the incoming president's policies, the Federal Reserve might not be as keen to increase interest rates as everyone had imagined. Sterling was neck-and-neck with the euro, largely because the UK economic data were at least as punchy as those from the euro zone.