The week

AS BARINGS gradually faded from centre stage, the limelight was taken by the turmoil on the currency markets. The US dollar lost ground against the Japanese yen and the German mark while France, Italy and Denmark had to raise domestic interest rates to save themselves from following Spain and Portugal into devaluation. Meanwhile, the Mexican peso continued to plumb new lows.

Cookson, the industrial materials group, launched a £193m rights issue, while Ladbroke Group admitted that the success of the National Lottery had savaged the football pool operators. Ladbroke owns Vernons, where turnover has fallen by 15 per cent since the lottery began last November.