The U.S. dollar fell to an all-time low for the second time in two days against the Swiss franc today, a day which saw the dollar decline against all major West European currencies.
The dollar closed at 23669 Swiss day's low of 2.3682 francs.
But the price of gold continued to rise, gaining a dollar an ounce in Zurich and 85 cents in London, the two major trading centers.
The Swiss national bank intervened for the second consecutive day to stem the fall of the dollar, but dealers said the intervention was not enough to absorb fully the rush into Swiss francs which started Tuesday because of large commercial orders.
Speculation has been rife in the market that Swiss authorities will allow the franc eventually to reach par with the mark. Dealers noted the Swiss currency has been moving gradually towards par with the mark for some time.
Moreover, there have been upconformed fumors that Swiss monetary authorities may resort to some form of exchange controls to slow or stop speculative inflows of funds, or socalled "hot money." Possible curbs involving swap transactions were mentioned by some dealers.
The dollar is still beset by what is regarded as America's disappointing economic performance lately. One French dealer said that the improved U.S. consumer price index for August was offset by the growth in the payments deficit for the second quarter. The U.S. international current account deficit widened in the second quarter to a record $4.61 billion from $4.16 billion in the first quarter.
In London, the pound edged up against the dollar today to $1.7423 from Tuesday's $1.7417.
Closing dollar rates elsewhere in Europe today:
Frankfurt - 23216 West German marks, down from 23230.
Paris - 49260 Franch francs, down from 493.
Amsterdam - 24680 Dutch guilders, down from 2.4680.
Milan - 882.95 Italian lire, down from 883.55.
Gold prices continued to move up, with an ounce of gold selling for $151.125 in Zurich at the close today. Tuesday's closing price was $151.25.
In London gold closed at $151.25 an ounce> up 85 cents from Tuesday's $150.40 an ounce.