This last week was not the highlight of sterling's long and chequered career. The pound lost one and a quarter euro cents and even contrived to give away a third of a cent to the US dollar. The euro put in an average performance in the middle of the bunch, staying fairly close to the franc and the yen. Data from the euro zone were acceptable: Fourth quarter growth came in at a preliminary 0.5%, in line with the United States; inflation jumped to a provisional 1.8%; EC measures of consumer and business confidence all improved.
The pound and the dollar both felt the heat of Donald Trump's unpredictable policy-making, the dollar for obvious reasons and sterling because the prime minister's visit to Washington made her look, in a way, guilty by association. Sterling also took a hit from the Bank of England governor's comment that interest rates will not be going higher.
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