Although it took a fairly distant second place to the Japanese yen the NZ dollar was comfortably ahead of the third-placed Australian dollar and beat the other major currencies easily. The Kiwi strengthened by three and a half cents against sterling and added one US cent. It received unexpected help from an inexplicable spike in the Australian dollar on Tuesday and the NZ ecostats, such as they were, were not bad - June's trade surplus was a little better than expected.

But most of the Kiwi's gains were the result of shortcomings elsewhere. The pound was hit by surprisingly weak UK purchasing managers' index readings, which pointed to recession and increased the chance of an interest rate cut in August. The US dollar suffered after the Federal Reserve's policy statement indicated no haste by the Fed to deliver its long-awaited second interest rate increase.