The pound enjoyed a positive 24 hours, as sterling touched on short-term highs this morning.

The dollar was at 1.7769 against the pound, while the euro stood at 1.4725 to sterling.

On a day which saw the UK's highest ever profits recorded by a listed company in the shape of oil giant Shell - over £13 billion - the pound proved resilient.

Elsewhere the European Central Bank (ECB) has announced that it has left rates untouched.

Widely expected by analysts, the decision means the interest rate is on 2.25 per cent.

A briefing later this week will be keenly awaited for any indications of a shift in policy by ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet.

Some are tipping an interest rate rise in March, with Europe enjoying a muted period of growth at present.