The eight-day week cost the Australian dollar three cents against the pound, making it the second worst-performing of the major currencies (the NZD brought up the rear). A major part of the Aussie's problem was the nervousness about weekend elections in Greece and France and their possible implications for growth in Europe and elsewhere.
The Australian economy itself also gave cause for concern. Purchasing managers' indices for the manufacturing and services sectors were both lower again and further into the contraction zone below 50 on their 0-100 scale. Manufacturing was four and a half cents lower at 43.9 while services slumped seven and a half points to 39.6.
In recognition of economic weakness and falling inflation the Reserve Bank of Australia lowered its benchmark Cash Rate by half a percentage point to 3.75%. It was a bigger cut than investors had expected and it forced them to consider the deteriorating Australian economic picture.