The pound is expected to continue its advance against the dollar next week following a series of reports showing the UK economy steaming ahead.

Sterling rose to a 14 year high of $1.9916 earlier this week before falling back to $1.9652 in early foreign exchange trading on Friday.
Against the euro it traded at 65.76p.

Statistics released this week showed that house prices continued to climb, the economy grew at its fastest rate in 18 months and factory prices rises are at a one year high.

"The fundamentals seem to be in place for the pound to go higher,"
currency strategist Neil Mellor of the Bank of New York told Bloomberg.

"This is still a central bank fighting inflation that's above its target and there's a lot of upside for the Bank of England to maintain its current hawkish frame of mind."

Futures markets showed that traders continue to hedge their bets against a further quarter point rise in the cost of borrowing by March.