A number of encouraging economic indicators failed to dramatically shift the pound in the last 24 hours.

This morning the dollar was at 1.7721 to the pound, while the euro was at 1.4759 to sterling.

News from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) showing house prices were expected to rise by four per cent in 2006 and 2007 bolstered the property market.

Similarly, news from the Office for National Statistics that retail sales were performing better than expected in the Christmas run up heartened some investors.

Retail sales increased at the sharpest rate since June, up by 0.7 per cent in November.

"Retail sales figures for November indicate a continuation of the pick-up seen over recent months," the ONS said.

However, both gains failed to galvanise the pound as the figures were seen as heralding a modest upturn, with the festive period also skewing some of the conclusions.

The Rics survey confounded fears of a potential slide in the property market, but was a modest gain in the context of house price movement and inflation.

Some analysts were also sceptical of the retail figures, with today's news that the Confederation of British Industry and broker GVA Grimley anticipate retail space to be cut in the next six months for the first time in 11 years likely to emphasise that sentiment.