The euro was down on the dollar at the star pf the day as analyst awaited further signs of a strategy for the interest rate from the European Central Bank (ECB).

This morning the euro was at 1.4614 against the pound, while the dollar stood at 1.2075 against the US currency.

The ECB raised its interest rate last month to 2.25 per cent and industry observers have been keenly awaiting any further signs of activity.

A survey from Bloomberg predicted that the ECB will keep its rate unchanged when it sits this week, while scrutiny has also been paid to the dollar as the Federal Reserve plots its own interest rate trajectory.

The Fed continued to hike interest rates throughout 2005, but there is speculation that a widening US trade deficit will put pressure on the currency, and therefore the interest rate.

In the UK a host of firms are reporting this week, with food manufacturers Inter Link Foods issuing interims and Cobra Bio-Manufacturing reporting on Tuesday, while Marks & Spencer, Alfred McAlpine and Topps Tiles will release updates on Wednesday.

Bovis Homes, BP, Burberry, Matalan, Wm Morrison, Mothercare, Savills and Taylor Woodrow will all also be issuing trading statements.

A key week for retailers will also see Boots, Carphone Warehouse, HMV, House of Fraser and Signet report.