The dollar increased slightly against the euro in the last 24 hours, following assertive comments from French finance minister Thierry Breton.

This morning the dollar was at 1.2771 against the euro, while the greenback was at 1.8845 to the pound.

Some movement came after Mr Breton addressed an audience in Paris, where he warned against letting the gap between the dollar and the euro grow too big.

He said the member states must "do everything" to ensure the euro did not become too strong against the dollar.

This is because analysts have warned against the prospect of European exports to the US becoming inhibited due to the currency differential, with the comments from one of Europe's leading finance ministers setting alarm bells ringing.

Meanwhile, speculation continued about the prospects for further rate rises in the US, with analysts awaiting clues as to the Federal Reserve's next move.

Federal chairman Ben Bernanke will attend the Senate Banking Committee, following discussions earlier in the day at a Chicago Federal conference.