NEW YORK, JULY 20 -- The dollar closed mixed against major foreign currencies in moderate, uneventful domestic trading today.
Gold prices rose. Republic National Bank in New York reported a late bid of $451.50 a troy ounce, up $3.50 from Friday's late bid.
Traders said the dollar's strength was a continuation of gains scored late last week, when it staged a two-day recovery after plunging Wednesday on news of a larger-than-expected May trade deficit.
The currency's activity during the day seemed to have "more foundation in technical factors than in fundamentals," said James Vick, senior corporate trader at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co.
The dollar moved up in Europe, where dealers said higher prices for oil, which is mainly traded in dollars, helped push the American currency higher as the currencies of oil importers like Japan weakened.
While fears over escalating tension in the Persian Gulf continued to attract some attention, traders said the spotlight has turned to the appearances tomorrow of outgoing Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul A. Volcker and Alan Greenspan, President Reagan's nomination for Volcker's replacement. Both are set to address congressional committees in Washington.
Volcker will report on the Fed's economic projections before a House banking subcommittee, while Greenspan faces confirmation hearings being conducted by a Senate banking committee.
Vick said the market expects the hearings to be largely ceremonial. "The market is not particularly nervous about the testimony," he said. Vick placed more weight on the government indicators due out this week, particularly the gross national product figure that will be released Friday.
In New York, the dollar closed at 152.705 Japanese yen, down from Friday's close of 152.95.
In Tokyo, the dollar closed at 152.65 yen, up from Friday's 151.50 yen and also edged up later in London to 152.90 yen.
Against the British pound, the dollar closed higher at $1.5985 in New York, compared with $1.6025 Friday. In London, the dollar rose to $1.6045 against the pound, compared with $1.6093 Friday.