The pound enjoyed a positive period in the last 24 hours before stumbling, as encouraging economic data initially helped shore up sterling.

This afternoon the euro was at 1.4727 to the pound, with the dollar standing at 1.7397 .

Figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) indicated a minor resurgence in the property sector after a long period of stagnation.

Led by London property, Rics said that house prices had risen for the first time in over a year in November.

In the three months prior to November house price rises were seen to be more prevalent than falls by surveyors for the first time since August 2004.

However, the news prompted Rics to anticipate a cut in the base rate in the near future, which could alter the trajectory of the pound.

"All the numbers point to renewed price rises. There is a universal expectation from agents that interest rates are heading down again in the new year, which is providing the market with confidence," said Rics spokesman Ian Perry. 

With the Bank of England monetary policy committee minutes today showing that one member had voted to cut interest rates in the last session, speculation heightened on the potential for cuts sooner rather than later.