The week starts with the dollar enjoying its longest sustained rally against the euro in eight months, strengthened by the increasing prospects of a US interest rate rise.

This morning the dollar bought 0.7924 euros while the euro stood at 1.4604 against sterling.

Reports on the levels of inflation in the United States will be published this week that are expected to show levels warranting a rate increase from the Federal Reserve.

Meanwhile, investors in the UK will turn eyes to the trading updates of Tesco and the Royal Bank of Scotland this week.

Tesco, which was confirmed as the world's fifth largest retailer in April, will release a trading update on Wednesday. Analysts are predicting growth, but at slower levels as competition from Sainsbury's and Morrison's begin to bite.

Further interest will come from Standard Life, which issues its flotation prospectus on Thursday.

Standard Life announced plans to demutualise in April, when 98 per cent of policy holders voted for flotation.

The listing, which if all goes to plan will take place in July, is hoping to raise in the region of £1.1 billion for the Edinburgh based firm.