The dollar was mixed against major foreign currencies yesterday reflecting an uncertain picture for the U.S. economy and interest rates. Gold was sharply lower in Europe but showed a firming trend in late trading in New York.

Gold dropped $13.50 in Zurich to close at $488.50 an ounce from Wednesday's close of $502. In London gold fell $9 an ounce to $491.50 an ounce from $500.50. It had dropped to $488.50 at the afternoon fixing.

In New York gold showed a firming trend late in the day, closing at $491.25, up from $490 the previous day. The Comex settled gold at $491.30 compared with $489. Silver rose 2 cents to $11.40 an ounce, and it settled at $11.38, up from $11.335.

In London the pound inched down to $2.1815 from $2.1890 and was quoted at $2.1810 in New York.

European closing rates with late New York prices in parentheses:

Frankfurt, 2.1727 marks, up from 2.1685 (2.17); Brussels, 36.50 Belgian francs, up from 36.475 (34.40); Zurich, 1.97425 Swiss francs, down from 1.97525 (1.9795); Paris, 5.1325 French francs, down from 5.1387 (5.14); Milan, 1082.30 lire, down from 1083.80 (1083).