The dollar had just as rotten a week as the pound, leaving the pair in a dead heat for the wooden spoon. Europe's single currency did hardly any better: it beat them by just a fifth of a cent as a result of disappointing economic data and political nervousness about the popularity of right-wing anti-EU candidates in the Netherlands and France. Sterling's weakness was mainly the result of a below-forecast 1.8% inflation reading and an unexpected slowdown in the pace of wage increases.

Ecostats from the States were mostly in line with or better than expectations and the Federal Reserve chairperson told Congress that interest rates would rise further this year. Such a combination would normally have taken the dollar ahead but investors refused to follow the script. Their misgivings appeared to relate to the disarray in which the new administration has found itself and to Donald Trump's "I'm not ranting and raving" press conference.