The dollar again hit its highest levels in years on European foreign exchange markets yesterday, then eased in U.S. trading as interest rates fell back slightly on a rally in bond prices.

Gold was lower in Europe but firm in New York. In Zurich it was down $5 to $476.50 an ounce. In London it also closed at $476.50, down $13 from Friday's close of $489.50. London markets were closed Monday for a holiday. f

In New York, a small rally at the close left gold at $480 an ounce, down from Monday's $481.50, but up sharply from the low levels earlier in the day. The Comex settled gold at $480.90, about level with Monday's $480.70.

In Frankfurt the dollar closed its highest level in over three years -- 2.2695 marks, up from 2.2385 marks on Monday. The afternoon fix was the highest since October 1977. In U.S. trading hours, where the dollar had traded as high as 2.28 marks, it eased to 2.26 in late trading.

In London the pound closed at its lowest level against the dollar since November, 1979. It was $2.113, against $2.144 at Friday's close and it was trading at 2.1155 in New York.

In Milan the dollar surged to another record -- 1,129.30 lire from 1,113.95 lire Monday. The New York rate was 1,124 lire.

In Paris the dollar remained at its highest level since lat 1971. It closed at 5,41621 francs, up from 5,3287 francs Monday.

In Zurich the dollar also closed at a three-year high of 2.0708 Swiss francs, up from 2.04.