When the Federal Reserve chairperson Janet Yellen made a speech last Friday she was expected to join her colleagues in raising expectations of an interest rate increase next Wednesday. When she did exactly that the dollar took an unexpected step backwards: investors had already discounted the certainty of a rise so her words came as an anticlimax. The only US ecostat to have any appreciable effect on the dollar was ADP's employment change figure on Wednesday, which was much stronger than expected and pointed to a robust US jobs numbers this Friday.

The euro fared better than the dollar, helped by a more hawkish monetary tone from the European Central Bank. Sterling fared worse, hindered by disappointing UK data for services sector activity and retail sales. Overall the dollar took a cent off the pound and it lost four fifths of a cent to the euro.