Traders came back from the Thanksgiving holiday to take the dollar sharply higher yesterday despite lower interest rates, including the Federal Reserve's discount rate. Gold fell in light trading.

The dollar hit 3.04 West German marks in New York yesterday and finished just below it. The dollar failed to breach the 3-mark level in Europe the previous day, when U.S. markets were closed, because of a one-half point reduction in the Fed's discount rate late Wednesday and moderate intervention by the Bundesbank Thursday.

In London, the British pound fell to $1.2185 from Thursday's $1.2275. In New York, it was $1.2140, down from $1.2321.

Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. In New York the dollar soared to 245.70 yen from Wednesday's 244.49.

Gold closed in Zurich at $341.50, down from Thursday's close of $343.50. In London, it finished at $341.50 an ounce, down from $342. Republic National Bank in New York closed cash gold at $340.50 an ounce, down from $342.59 Wednesday. The New York Commodity Exchange settled the November contract at $340, down from $342.40.

Silver fell to $7.53 an ounce from $7.57 on the cash market; the Comex settled it at $7.54, down from $7.585.