The euro has fallen against the dollar in the last 24 hours, with the uncertainty generated by the German election weighing heavily on the currency.

Standing at 1.2139 to the euro, the dollar enjoyed gains as candidates Angela Merkel and    Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder were locked in a tie, with both sides refusing to concede.

The news means plans for strident reform on either side are likely to be shelved, with tax reforms and packages for economic stimulus put on the back burner.

News of a potential rate rise in the US helped bolster the dollar, while in the UK the pound climbed against the euro as investors speculated that the Monetary Policy Committee's meeting minutes indicated the interest rate will stay on hold.

With many leading retailers issuing profits last week and this - with Tesco, Woolworths and Ottakar's all publishing reports - further evidence for high-street decline could materialise.

Other firms publishing results this week in the UK include oil and gas operator Cairn Energy and engineering group Smiths.

Standard Chartered currency expert Marios Maratheftis told Bloomberg he expected the pound would enjoy positive news from the Bank of England (BoE) this week.

"The mixed data means the BOE will keep rates on hold,'' he explained.