NEW YORK, JULY 8 -- The dollar closed mixed against major foreign currencies in uneventful trading today but held onto fresh gains against the Japanese yen.
Gold prices rose. Republic National Bank in New York quoted a closing bid for gold bullion of $444.75 a troy ounce, up $1 from Tuesday's late bid.
Traders said rumors of central bank intervention took some steam out of the market initially. The talk "may have caused people to square up their positions," said Robert Ryan, senior trader at Irving Trust Co.
Dealers in Frankfurt also blamed the rumors for the dollar's failure to continue its ascent past a technical resistance point of 1.8460 West German marks.
Although no central banks were seen intervening, the rumor that the West German Bundesbank had offered dollars for sale was enough to ease the currency's bullishness.
Though the dollar has tested recent highs against the Japanese yen and the West German mark, traders downplayed the importance of the psychological trading barriers.
Ron Sapiro, head trader at Chicago Illinois National Bank & Trust Co., noted that the dollar "hasn't broken any major chart points. We're still in a trading range; it's just now at the high part rather than the low part."
The dollar closed in Tokyo at 150.25 yen, up from 149.45 Tuesday. It was the dollar's highest close in Tokyo since March 23, when it traded at 150.73 yen. In London, the dollar was marginally lower at 150.23 yen. Later, in New York, the dollar rose to 150.49 yen, up from Tuesday's close of 150.25.
The dollar is "just sitting at the yen," Ryan said of the psychological 150 barrier against the Japanese currency.
"It looked like it easily moved through it, now it's a question of where do we go from there," he said.
The British pound fell in London to $1.6195 from $1.6210 late Tuesday. In New York, the pound rose to $1.6182, up from $1.6165 late Tuesday.
Traders said they are gearing up for increased activity at the end of the week in anticipation of the government's scheduled release of trade figures, which they believe will be favorable, next Wednesday.
Other late dollar rates in New York compared with late Tuesday: 1.8405 West German marks, down from 1.8432; 1.5345 Swiss francs, down from 1.5380; 1.32475 Canadian dollars, up from 1.32305, 6.1290 French francs, down from 6.1385, and 1,332.5 Italian lire, down from 1,334.00.
Other late dollar rates in Europe included: 1.8385 West German marks, up from 1.8375; 1.5315 Swiss francs, up from 1.5310; 6.1275 French francs, up from 6.1225; 2.0710 Dutch guilders, up from 2.0690; 1,332.00 Italian lire, up from 1,329.75; and 1.3245 Canadian dollars, up from 1.3242.
Gold bullion for current delivery closed at $446.80 on the New York Commodity Exchange, up $3 from Tuesday's close.
In London, gold traded at a late bid price of $445.50 a troy ounce, up $3.50 from late Tuesday. In Zurich, gold rose $2.50 to close at $446.50