Last Friday's US employment data well and truly torpedoed the dollar. Investors had been looking for nonfarm payrolls to have risen by 160k in May, a number which would have supported expectations of an interest rate increase this month or next. In fact, including downward revisions to previous months, payrolls were down by a net 21k. The figure killed any idea of a June rate hike and knocked a cent off the value of the dollar.
The UK economic data were surprisingly decent. According to the purchasing managers' index Britain's services sector was more buoyant than expected in May while manufacturing and industrial production for April exceeded expectations. Yet sentiment towards sterling remained negative because of the upcoming EU referendum. Although the dollar was the week's shakiest major currency, sterling was only a third of a cent ahead and the pound lost one and a quarter euro cents.