The pound was steady ahead of a frenetic week, which will see a raft of crucial economic data released.

This morning the dollar stood at 1.7559 to the pound, while it was at
1.2172 to the euro.

A busy week begins with company results from home improvement retail group, Kingfisher, which will issue its preliminary results on Tuesday.

Wolseley will also issue its interim results for the six months to January 31st 2006 on the same day.

Wednesday begins with Kesa Electricals announcing its preliminary company results, before the Budget is unveiled by the chancellor later in the day.

All eyes are likely to be on Gordon Brown as he delivers his economic strategy for the coming financial year.

With the Bank of England releasing the minutes of the latest monetary policy committee later in the week, it is likely to be a crucial period for analysts.