Last Friday's US employment data were far better than analysts had predicted, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by 287k in June. Any joy was diluted, however, by a downward revision to the previous month's increase, from 38k to 11k. All in all, and though they were somewhat relieved that the US economy was still moving ahead, investors saw nothing to force the Federal Reserve's hand in tightening monetary policy. There were no other important US ecostats and the dollar faded slightly against the euro, losing nearly half a cent.

Across the Pond sterling was storming ahead, adding nearly five US cents and strengthening by an average of 3.5% against the other major currencies. Two decisions were responsible for its rise: the first to install Theresa May promptly as prime minister and the second by the Bank of England to keep Bank Rate at 0.5% when investors had been teed up for a cut.