NEW YORK, AUG. 28 -- The dollar closed higher today against all major currencies except the British pound following reports of dollar-buying by central banks in Japan and Europe.
The dollar's uptick followed a sharp decline Thursday, particularly against the yen and the West German mark.
Gold prices fell. Republic National Bank in New York quoted bullion at $453.25 a troy ounce, down from $456 late Thursday.
Traders said central bank intervention to support the dollar apparently began overnight in Tokyo, when the Bank of Japan's dollar buying helped lift the currency from its lows of the previous session.
As trading moved to Europe, a number of central banks that had not intervened on the dollar's behalf for some time -- including central banks of West Germany, France and Switzerland -- were believed to have stepped in.
The dollar closed mixed in European trading, and in the United States could not sustain the gains made in earlier foreign trading, analysts said. However, some analysts said central bank intervention would provide support for a weakening currency.
While intervention lifted the dollar from its lows of the previous session, "basic market sentiment hasn't changed -- the dollar is still for sale," said John Caulfield, a senior vice president at Continental Illinois National Bank & Trust Co. in Chicago.
Caulfield and others said bearish sentiment toward the dollar likely would continue when July trade figures are released next month.
"We're expecting a lousy number," said Robert Ryan, senior trader at Irving Trust Co. Ryan said traders were estimating the deficit soared to between $16 billion and $16.5 billion in July.
Caulfield noted that a wider-than-expected June trade deficit figure of $15.7 billion, an apparent record, sparked the bearish tone now pervading the market. The July trade figure "is the next natural sign as to whether the June figure was an aberration" or part of a solid trend, Caulfield said.
In Tokyo, the dollar fell to 141.50 Japanese yen from 142.55 yen late Thursday. Later in London, the dollar traded at 142.35 yen. In New York, the dollar rose to 141.88 yen from 141.77 yen on Thursday.
Gold fell. On the New York Commodity Exchange, gold for September delivery fell to $453.10 a troy ounce from $455.40 on Thursday.
Silver for September delivery on the New York Commodity Exchange closed at $7.35 a troy ounce, down from $7.533 on Thursday. In London, silver fell to a late bid of $7.34 a troy ounce from Thursday's $7.56.