The dollar ended on a high note yesterday but dealers said there was very little business as the market awaited further direction on interest rates. Gold drifted down.
Gold closed $1 firmer in Zurich at $345.50 an ounce. In London, it finished at $345.25, up from $344 Thursday. Dealers said gold traded in a narrow $1.50 range with very light volume.
Republic Bank in New York closed cash gold at $343.75, down from $344.75. The New York Commodity Exchange settled the November contract at $343.90, down from $344.60.
Silver was one penny lower at $7.59 an ounce from $7.60 on the cash market. The Comex settled it at $7.591, down from $7.598.
The dollar was mixed in Europe and edged higher in New York in what dealers called an "abnormally quiet" day. The dollar traded in a relatively narrow range of 2.96-2.9775 West German marks after swinging between 2.92 and 2.98 marks during the week.
"Lots of people were bewildered when the dollar didn't go down Thursday in the wake of weak economic reports and aggressive Federal Reserve easing," one dealer said. "The climate calls for a lower dollar but many are afraid to sell it down."
In London, the pound finished at $1.2595 down from $1.2615 Thursday and in New York it was $1.2556, down from $1.2540.
In Tokyo, overnight the dollar eased to 242.40 yen from 242.75 Thursday. In New York it was 242.78 yen, down from 243.10.