Until this week the imminent referendum on UK membership of the EU had been seen as a little local difficulty affecting Britain and, perhaps the euro zone. Now, investors perceive Britain's possible exit from the EU as a global threat. That was driven home when the US and Japanese central banks both made specific mention of the Brexit risk as a factor in their decisions to leave monetary policy unchanged.

It had a dampening effect on all three of the Commonwealth "commodity" dollars, bringing to an end a fortnight of upward progress. The NZ dollar was still able to pick up a cent and a half against sterling but it lost half a US cent.

NZ ecostats were typically thin on the ground. The data that stood out were those for gross domestic product, which showed the economy expanding by 0.7% I the first quarter and by 2.8% on the year to March.