NEW YORK, AUG. 19 -- The dollar continued to plunge in nervous, active trading today, falling to a two-month low against the Japanese yen.

Gold prices also retreated. Republic National Bank of New York quoted gold bullion at $458.00 a troy ounce, down $1 from late Tuesday.

Traders said the market has been bearish on the dollar since Friday's U.S. trade deficit report, which showed a widening shortfall of $15.7 billion in June. A sharp decline in the dollar on Tuesday helped pull down the stock and bond markets.

"There's nothing going on. But the market just seems to be saying, 'Gee, the dollar is going to go lower,' " said Robert Ryan, senior trader at Irving Trust Co.

Traders said the Bank of Japan intervened in the Tokyo market to support the dollar for the first time since late April, as the U.S. currency fell to its lowest level in almost two months there.

The dollar closed at 145.35 Japanese yen in Tokyo, its lowest level since June 22, and down sharply from 148.55 yen late Tuesday. It also was quoted at 145.35 yen in London. Later, in New York, the dollar stood at 144.26 yen, down from 146.30 and the lowest level since mid-June.

On the New York Commodity Exchange, gold bullion contracts for current delivery fell 30 cents a troy ounce to $458.30