As news emerged late last Friday of the attempted coup in Turkey investors piled into the safe-haven dollar and Japanese yen. Seven days later the pair still shared the lead, both having strengthened by 1.5% against sterling. The dollar picked up two cents against the pound and one cent against the euro. On balance the US economic data were supportive of the dollar, helping to foster the notion that there might, after all, be a rate increase by the Federal Reserve this year. June's retail sales beat forecast, as did housing starts, building permits and weekly jobless claims.
Sterling was all over the place. It was at the back of the field last Friday, thanks to an extraordinarily dovish speech by the Bank of England's chief economist, and the weakness carried through the weekend. On Wednesday sterling led the pack, helped by punchy UK employment figures. Brexit still looms but the nervousness is no longer so immediate.