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The pound jumped as expectations grew that UK rates will rise next year, following the Bank of England’s latest inflation report.
The pound rose 0.5% against the dollar to $1.6539 and surged 0.9% against the euro to 1.2168 euros.
The Bank raised growth estimates, and said market expectations for a rate rise in the second quarter of 2015 were consistent with its inflation target.
On the stock market, the FTSE 100 index was up 10.64 points at 6,683.30.
Morrisons shares rose nearly 4% at first before dropping back to stand 0.5% higher at lunchtime, following a report that the founding family of the supermarket is thinking of taking the firm private.
Bloomberg reported that the family, which holds about 9.5% of the supermarket, had approached private equity funds to gauge interest. In lunchtime trade,
Reckitt Benckiser rose 1.1% after the consumer goods giant said it was aiming for revenue growth of 4-5% this year.
The company, whose products includes Strepsils and Dettol, said operating profits in 2013 had risen by 2% to £2.6bn.
Mining shares rose following the release of stronger-than-expected Chinese trade figures, with both exports and imports rising by 10% last month. Rio Tinto was up 1.8% and Anglo American climbed 1.7%.