With the focus of investors mainly on Brexit and Trump the antipodean dollars were left largely to their own devices. The NZ took second place for the week with the Aussie not far behind. It strengthened by one US cent and lost half a cent to the first-placed British pound. The few NZ ecostats showed a slight increase in business confidence and a slight fall in milk prices.

British figures for inflation and employment were respectable and roughly in line with forecast but it was a speech by the Prime Minister, not the data, that took sterling ahead. The highlights of Theresa May's Brexit speech had been leaked the previous evening so investors were not shocked to hear it would be a clean break. They were relieved to learn there will be a transitional phase to avoid the feared "cliff-edge" and they were pleased that parliament will have a vote on the deal that is eventually reached.