The Australian dollar was on the defensive for a second week. It lost two cents against the pound in a continuation of the downward move that began in the middle of the previous week. Sterling felt the unusual benefit of three consecutive UK economic statistics that delivered better results than investors had expected. Inflation was a touch higher, reducing the pressure for another round of quantitative easing, unemployment was down to 8% and retail sales went up when they were thought to have fallen. The Aussie was less fortunate. NAB's business confidence measures remained close to the neutral level. Westpac's consumer confidence index was two and a half points lower at 96.6. There was not much else to guide investors, other than a growing expectation that Australia's benchmark interest rate will remain steady at 3.75% for some time to come.