The dollar gained fractionally against the major European currencies yesterday. Gold fell sharply in heavy profit-taking and silver dropped as one big European holder liquidated an account held since the March silver turmoil.

In Zurich gold fell to $671.50 from Tuesday's $682.50. In London it dropped $19 from Tuesday's close of $682.50 to $663.50.

In New York, where gold traded as low as $658 an ounce, it closed at $664.75 an ounce compared with $676.25 the previous day. The Comex settlement price was $662, down from $673.

Silver plummeted to $16.375 an ounce from $16.825 Tuesday.

The selling was understood to represent continued liquidation from a Swiss source who was left with the silver position of a bankrupt account when silver dropped to just over $10 an ounce in late March.

In Brussels the dollar inched up from its all-time opening low of 27.90 francs to finish at 27.95, barely over its 27.92 close Tuesday. In New York it was quoted at 27.86.

In Tokyo fears that Japan may have to curb its auto exports to the United States and Europe drove the dollar up to 219 yen from 218.35 yen, but it fell back to 218.17 in New York.

Other European closing prices with late New York quotes in parentheses:

Zurich, 1.5892 Swiss francs up from 1.5873 (1.5910); Paris, 4.04 francs up from 4.0270 (4.0350); Amsterdam, 1.9020 guilders from 1.8990 (1.9010; Milan, 828.85 lire from 828.30 (828.70).