It has been difficult going for the dollar in the last week or so. The US economic data have been respectable enough: gross domestic product expanded by a provisional 0.7% in the third quarter and the purchasing managers' index readings confirmed steady if not stellar growth. But excitement at the likelihood of higher interest rates next month has faded and there is unease at the possibility of a President Trump. The dollar was a cent and three quarters lower on the week against the euro.

Sterling got lucky on Thursday when the high court ruled that the Article 50 process of leaving the EU must be approved by parliament. The pound popped a cent higher on the news, taking its gains for the week to two and three quarter US cents. Rightly or wrongly, investors believe the ruling improves the odds of an amicable divorce; one that will do minimum damage to the UK economy.