Chances of a further interest rate rise this year diminished as housing data showed a falling market.

At the beginning of the day sterling stood at $1.89420, 219.89000 yen and €1.47105.

The Rightmove housing index revealed asking prices dipped in August by 1.6 per cent -compared with a 2.9 per cent rise in July.

This combined with previous inflation data held down the pound as a second interest rate rise from the Bank of England becomes less likely this year.

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, claimed property prices had "passed their peak for 2006" and predicted a period of stability was about to start.

The dollar was pulled in two directions yesterday - down by housing and inflation data showing the economy could be slowing, but up by news that Iran intended to continue uranium enrichment and the resultant upped investment in US treasury bonds.

The euro also suffered a touch as German investor confidence fell.