The dollar was down slightly against the pound this morning after reaching a two-week high on Friday.

A short time ago the dollar stood at 1.75520 to the pound at the beginning of a week that sees a number of important announcements by UK-listed companies.

This morning, low cost airline Ryanair announced its third quarter profits, which were hit by rising fuel costs. Last year's increases in the price of oil are expected to have a more positive effect on BP, which announces its full year results tomorrow.

Yell, Scottish Power, GlaxoSmithKline, BG Group, ICI and Unilever are all set to make announcements to the stock market this week.

Despite its fall against the pound this morning, the dollar is expected to be supported over the next few months by further interest rate rises.

Analysts expect the Federal Reserve to increase the base rate of interest again next month to stave off inflationary pressures.

"The Fed will raise the rate in March and May,'' predicted Satoru Ogasawara of Credit Suisse Group in an interview with Bloomberg. "That should be supportive for the dollar.'' 

Last month the Fed increased interest rates to 4.5 per cent, the 14th consecutive rise.