A third of the world's foreign exchange trading now takes place within London a new report has shown, an illustration of how tight a lock the UK has on the currency markets.

On the markets last night, the dollar hit a one week high against the yen of Y119.50, with analysts predicting Y120 this week, while the euro slipped slightly to $1.253.

The International Financial Services London (IFSL) report found that average daily turnover on the UK's forex markets reached $1.1 trillion (£287 billion) in April.

The value of daily trades was 41 per cent up on April 2005, while the value of global trades increased 38 per cent over the same period.

"The UK, and London in particular, is by far the largest global market for foreign exchange trading, well ahead of the US and Japan," said Mark Maslakovic of IFSL.

"The rapid growth in the volume of foreign exchange turnover over the past two decades reflects the continuing growth of international trade and expansion in global finance and investment," he told the Independent.

The share of the global market is twice as large as the next biggest player, the US, which handles 18. per cent of currency trading, and well ahead of the third ranked Japan with 7.6 per cent.