The euro shared third place with the US dollar in the first week of April. Neither could hold a candle to Japanese yen, which was the runaway winner after leading the pack for five consecutive days, and both lagged the Swiss franc. Against sterling the euro strengthened by two and a quarter cents for a 1.8% rise. Sterling was down by an average of -1.4% against the other dozen most actively-traded currencies, avoiding the wooden spoon only because the South African rand had an even worse week.

It is interesting to note that the four top-performing currencies over the last month - the euro, the Swiss franc, the Japanese yen and the Swedish krona - all have negative official interest rates. Negative rates are set by central banks in order to discourage buyers, depressing their currencies and promoting inflation. The strategy is not working terribly well at the moment, perhaps because so many of them are using it.