Signs of economic strength in the US have helped bolster the dollar after a positive week.
 
This morning the dollar was at 1.7781 to the pound and at 1.4591 against the euro.

Figures from the Commerce Department showed that American factories had completed a record year.

With orders for durable goods up 1.3 per cent in December, totalling $228 billion, the manufacturing sector celebrated a third consecutive increase.

Goods such as for military aircraft and industrial machinery were big winners, as total orders in 2005 increased by 8.2 per cent to $2.51 trillion.

Analysts such as Niels Christensen, a currency expert with Societe Generale, were pleased with the effect on the dollar, telling Reuters: "In the US yesterday, we had good data."

However, many analysts are still awaiting the findings of the Federal Reserve meeting next Tuesday, while statistics on the jobs market are also likely to determine the dollar's trajectory.