The pound was steady this afternoon ahead of a week of figures from some of the UK's leading financial institutions.

This afternoon the dollar was at 1.7397 against sterling and the euro stood at 1.4686.

After a week which saw the Bank of England minutes undermine speculation of an interest rate cut in the short-term, this week is likely to be shaped by data from a range of different firms.

Monday sees Alliance & Leicester issue its final results, while on Tuesday the Royal Bank of Scotland reports.

On Wednesday banking giant HBOS will deliver its final results.

In addition a series of other high-profile firms will issue results this week, including Alliance UniChem, British American Tobacco and GKN on Tuesday, as well as United Business Media.

The retail industry will also see Matalan report on Wednesday, while rail operator Arriva publishes its results on Thursday.