Today sees the start of the UK's annual TUC conference, with Labour's leadership controversy likely to dominate proceedings.

Sterling starts the week at $1.8658, 218.82 Yen and €1.4713, as uncertainty over prime minister Tony Blair's departure date continuing to weigh down the pound.

Mr Blair will deliver a speech at the TUC conference on Tuesday, but union leaders are reportedly planning to greet it with silence rather than a standing ovation. The UK's largest trade union conference ends on Thursday.

Derek Simpson, general secretary of Amicus, Labour's biggest single financial donor, said union representatives were in "open revolt" in frustration at government policies which he believed were "failing".

Meanwhile, on Monday the GMB will publish a study on how much money is injected into the economy by increases in wages due to the National Minimum Wage.

Bovis Homes will releases its interim results on Monday, defence company Cobham and retailer French Connection on Tuesday, BAE Systems on Wednesday, and John Lewis will disclose its interim results on Thursday.

Elsewhere, education secretary Alan Johnson will deliver a keynote speech on Wednesday, entitled 'In defence of the state: the role of education in tackling poverty'.