NEW YORK, AUG. 20 -- After declining in the Far East and Europe, the dollar rebounded today to close at slightly higher levels against the Japanese yen and West German mark ahead of two key economic reports. Gold closed lower.

In New York, the dollar rose to 144.85 yen, up from Wednesday's 144.20. Overnight in Tokyo, however, it dropped to 143.75 yen, down 1.60 yen from 145.35.

The dollar's fall was checked by a remark by Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa in Japan's parliament indicating that the government would intervene to prevent the dollar's decline below 143 yen, Tokyo dealers said.

The dollar had fallen "so far, so quickly, today was a day of rest," said Gopalan Nair, vice president in foreign exchange at Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc.

Against the West German mark, the dollar ended at 1.8360 marks, up from its previous close of 1.8325. Earlier in Frankfurt, the dollar fell to 1.8363, down from 1.8459 on Wednesday.

Traders are awaiting the first revision to the second-quarter U.S. gross national product and the July consumer price index report, both scheduled for release Friday. Market expectations see no change in the preliminary inflation-adjusted GNP growth figure of 2.6 percent and a CPI increase of 0.4 percent.

"Given that the market is negative on the dollar, numbers that are within the range of expectations would be a negative" for the dollar, Nair said. Traders would "need unexpectedly good numbers to make them change their minds."

Republic National Bank in New York closed cash gold at $453.75, down from its Wednesday close of $458.25. New York's Commodity Exchange settled the spot contract at $453.30, down from $458.30