The dollar only avoided last place because sterling had an even less successful week, losing a third of a US cent. The Greenback was down by almost one cent against the euro. Economic data from the States were adequate rather than sparkling. Fourth quarter growth came in slightly lower than expected at 0.5%, in line with the euro zone but behind Britain's 0.6%. One index of consumer confidence improved while the other fell. The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and disappointed investors by its apparent lack of urgency to follow through with another increase.

The dollar's main handicap was the new president, who is unnerving investors with the stream of executive orders that continues to emanate from the White House. Sterling's was the Bank of England governor. He said on Thursday that interest rates will not go higher even if inflation exceeds 2%, which he expects it to do very soon.