IT WAS good news for the pound at the end of last week. Sterling-dollar briefly rose above $1.50 last week – its highest point since mid-May – after the markets signalled overall approval of the Budget package. But with the Federal Reserve reiterating its pledge to keep interest rates low for an extended period, the pound could rally further still. Spreadex quotes a September contract of $1.4940 - $1.4945.

Sterling also saw its best level against the euro last week but can it hold up against the single currency at these levels? Cantor Index offers a euro-sterling September spread of £0.8244-£0.8250. The German stock index, the Dax 30, failed to break through to new highs last week, forming a double top that could signify further declines. Capital Spreads quotes 6,080-6,081 for the Dax.

We will also get some companies updating the market this week. FTSE 100 big hitter Standard Chartered, a bank which has proved highly resilient to the financial crisis, gives a trading update today. The news that capital requirements for banks may be softened helped boost the stock towards 1,750p on Friday. But 1,800p should prove strong resistance once again to the upside, while there is strong support at 1,600p to the downside. Look to play this range until a solid break of 1,800p. Spread Co offers a spread on Standard Chartered of 1,737.2p – 1,740.8p

Annual results from Carpetright tomorrow should shed some light on the recovery in the home-building and home improvement industries. The deferral of the VAT rise should give retailers a short-term boost. Look for continued strength from Carpetright with a short-term target of 800p. Spread Co offers a spread on Carpetright of 705.5p-711p.

Shares in stock market tiddler D1 Oils dropped by nearly 20 per cent last week after a proposed £2.6m sale of its former Bromborough oil refinery fell through. Remarketing the site could cause the share price to drop further. Spreadex has a rolling D1 Oils spread of 6.73p-7.33p.