The euro and the pound both strengthened against the US dollar and the yen with the euro leading the way. It started this Friday in London a cent and a quarter higher on the week against the dollar and half a cent better against sterling. Compared with a month ago the pound is a cent higher against the euro and it is worth eight cents more than it was at this point last year.
For currencies as a whole it was not the busiest of weeks. The New York market's mind was on Thursday's annual turkey frenzy and the buckshee day off that everyone hoped to get on Friday. In the Far East the focus was an imminent Japanese general election, the change of government it was likely to deliver and the subsequent printing of money on an epic scale to stimulate the zombie economy.
In London investors couldn't get the idea of quantitative easing out of their minds. At the weekend Monetary Policy Committee member told a TV interviewer that "we may need more stimulus". On Wednesday the minutes of the November MPC meeting revealed he had voted for more asset purchases by the Bank of England. Even though UK inflation has begun to move higher again, and despite the governor's assertion that Britain's economy is too weak to make proper use of additional QE, investors half expect the Bank to do it anyway in the new year.
For Euroland the hot topic was meetings; one for euro area finance ministers to agree the new terms of Greece's ongoing bailout, the other for heads of government to agree a medium-term budget for the EU. In their own ways each was a disaster.
The Ecofin finance ministers' meeting lasted for 11 hours and afterwards there was not even a pretence at success. The International Monetary Fund insists that the only way out of the hole for Greece is for its creditors - EU governments and the European Central Bank - to write off some of their loans. The EU governments and the ECB say they cannot do that. In reality they are going to have to do it anyway, sooner or later, but must first find a way of dressing it up to look like something other than gifting money to Greece.
Thursday's summit meeting was a different sort of failure. On one of the opposing sides were the poorer, weaker members who want more money to spend on infrastructure and development. On the other were the net contributors to the EU, including Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, who believe that an increase in the EU budget is difficult to justify when Europe is knee-deep in austerity. In the end, the two factions were so far from reaching agreement that the meeting was abandoned up after just an hour and a half and the leaders will not even try to cut a deal until next year.
What is all boils down to is that nothing has really changed. In the last couple of months sterling has inhabited a channel roughly between €1.2250 and €1.2650. It has passed through the midpoint of that range more than a dozen times, most recently on Wednesday this week. The fact that currently sterling is on the retreat might be significant to the longer term outlook but recent experience suggests it is not.