The euro rose slightly today ahead of expectations that the European Central Bank (ECB) will signal rate rises and the US Federal Reserve will hold borrowing prices this week.

This morning the euro was at 1.4542 against the pound while the dollar was at 1.8855 against sterling.

The ECB is widely expected to raise interest rates to 2.75 per cent on Thursday as growth in industrial output strengthens.

ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet is expected to signal such a rise today at the American Bankers Association in Washington, while Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke is expected to intimate that a pause for is on the cards for US borrowing costs.

Two key economic reports on the UK economy due out this week, the British Retail Consortium's survey on Tuesday and Friday's official UK trade data, are expected to show that GDP growth is slowing and inflation is rising.

Company results due out this week include those of cycle and car spare retailer Halfords on Friday, which is expected to have done well with the sale of sat-nav systems and those of water companies Severn Trent (Tuesday) and Northumbrian Water Group (Wednesday).