Investors struggled to find inspiration among the few US economic statistics. Provisional purchasing managers' index readings came in below forecast and lower on the month. Existing home sales were reasonably strong but jobless claims increased by more than expected. It was left to the Federal Reserve to provide the guidance that was lacking elsewhere. 

Whilst a handful of senior Fed people stoked the anticipation of three interest rate increases this year the minutes of the last policy meeting were characteristically non-committal about when the process might begin. It was not enough to bring in new dollar buyers: the Greenback lost a cent to the euro and half a cent to the pound.

Sterling had a roller-coaster ride, leading the field on three days and lagging it on two. Its swings were driven more by sentiment and technical factors than by hard economic data, though weak retail sales figures were responsible for one of its losing days.