This week will see major insurers releasing their results with Aviva leading the way.

On the currency market, the Bank of England's surprise interest rate rise is still holding the pound up against the euro and yen at €1.48085 and 218.46000 yen. Uncertainties over the US federal reserves decision on interest rates this week put the pound at $1.90505.

The Scotsman reports Aviva will report a 25 per cent increase in profits this week for the first half of the year to £1.7 billion.

The good results are expected off the back of new business and growth in life assurance.

This week also sees interim results published by Friends Provident, Converium Insurance, Royal & SunAlliance, ING Group and Alliance Assurance - providing a good snapshot of the state of the insurance sector.

Royal & SunAlliance is expected to continue the good results for the first quarter, which were up 29 per cent to £207 million, as is Friends Provident - which had first quarter results up 26 per cent.