Among the major currencies it was the Big Beasts that had the better week and the commodity-oriented ones that came off worst. In general, investors were concerned that global economic growth was showing signs of frailty. They expressed that concern by tending to favour the allegedly safe euro and yen and, on this occasion, the US dollar. Give or take a dozen ticks the trio were unchanged against one another on the week. All three strengthened by about 1.25% against sterling, which was hampered by disappointing measures of private sector business activity in the UK. For sterling that meant the loss of one and a half euro cents.

May Day and Ascension Day holidays ate into the week, leaving less space on the agenda for euro zone economic data. There was still room, however, for the monthly round of purchasing managers' index readings. They were far from sparkling but still better than their UK equivalents.