The pound was down slightly this morning ahead of some important company announcements due later this week.

Sterling stood at $1.7441 a short time ago compared to $1.7451 in early trading.

Manufacturing figures and the latest house price statistics were both largely in line with expectations meaning that the pound held steady against rival currencies.

Last week the Bank of England's monetary policy committee voted to keep the base rate on hold for the eighth consecutive month.

This stability is filtering through to the currency markets, but all eyes will be on some important announcements this week.

In the next four days the markets will receive final results from clothing retailer Austin Reed; trading statements from Argos owner GUS and fashion brand Burberry; and interim results from newsagent and stationer WH Smith, mobile phone retailer the Carphone Warehouse and department store chain Marks & Spencer.

The Easter bank holiday means that there will only be four days of trading this week.