The NZ dollar beat its antipodean neighbour principally on the back of inflation data. Australian prices went up by 1.5% in the year to December and in New Zealand they went up by 1.3%. The Kiwi's relative advantage was that the previous NZ inflation reading had been just 0.4% while the Australian figure fell short of forecast.

For a second week sterling led the major currency pack, strengthening by 1.0% - more than a cent and a half - against the Kiwi. It only took a glancing blow from weak UK retail sales figures and was helped by news that the economy grew by more than expected - a provisional 0.6% - in the fourth quarter. The pound also received help from the government's decision to release a white paper ahead of the vote on Britain's departure from the EU. Over two weeks investors have demonstrated that the more transparent the process becomes, the less nervous they feel about sterling.