The U.S. dollar closed mixed in a narrow range against major European currencies yesterday after another sharp drop in Japan, and dealers said general expectations are for a steady dollar in the near future.

Gold fell sharply. After opening in Zurich at $250.375 anounce, 50 cents down from Monday's close, gold ended trading at $248.875. In London, where the market was closed Monday for the bank holiday, gold opened at $25025 an ounce but fell to $247.625 at the close.

In New York, where gold closed at $246.25 an ounce, a bullion dealer said gold was weakened by profitaking after its recent steady rise.

In London, the pound also came in for some profit-taking on its recent gains. Sterling fell over a cent to close at $2.0675 against $2.0780 Friday.

In Tokyo, the dollar fell against the yen but late buying sliced off some of early losses to help it close out the day at 215 yen, compared changed at 1.8955 marks; in Paris, it with 216.90 at Monday's close.

In Frankfurt the dollar was uneased to 4.3735 French francs from 4.3740; in Zurich, it rose to 1.7142 Swiss francs from 1.7128; in Brussels, it rose to 31.065 Belgian francs from 31.050; in Amsterdam to 2.0585 guilders against 2.05880. and in Milan to 846.30 lire against 846.20.