The dollar gained this afternoon after a positive economic data on the state of the US jobs market helped sore up the currency.

This afternoon the dollar stood at 1.7608 to the pound and at 1.2002 against the euro.

 The US government said that the economy had added a further 193,000 jobs since January, with unemployment falling.

In addition, the December jobs figure has been revised upwards, from 108,000 up to 140,000.

The news added weight to expectations of rate hike, as Societe Generale's Yuji Saito told Bloomberg.

"Strong jobs data will certainly further raise expectations for Fed rate hikes in March and the months after,'' he said.

"The US economy still seems robust, and the dollar's upward trend is likely to continue.''

There had been speculation among some experts that the rate rise cycle would soon be coming to an end, with the departure of chairman Alan Greenspan adding to the notion of a change in strategy.