The dollar finished modestly higher against most major currencies in uneventful New York trading yesterday, after rising in the Far East but trading mostly lower in Europe.
Gold prices also advanced, after rocketing to five-year highs on Monday and retreating sharply on Tuesday. Republic National Bank in New York quoted a late bid for gold of $467.75 a troy ounce, up from $464 late Tuesday.
Traders said the dollar continued to be supported in domestic trading by the robust recovery on Wall Street and foreign stock markets in the wake of Monday's collapse.
"The dollar just kept being very well supported" in New York dealings, said James Vick, a currency trader for Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. "People are heartened by the fact that the U.S. financial markets aren't falling apart."
Dealers attributed the dollar's strength to Tuesday's agreement by U.S. Treasury Secretary James A. Baker III and West German Finance Minister Gerhard Stoltenberg to continue cooperation to stabilize exchange rates.
In Tokyo, where trading ends as Europe's business day begins, the dollar rose to a closing 143.88 Japanese yen, up from 142.80 yen Tuesday. In London trading later yesterday, the dollar was quoted at 143.47 yen. In New York, the dollar was quoted at 144.60 yen, up from 144.30 late Tuesday.
The dollar slipped against the British pound in London where it cost $1.6545 to buy one pound, more expensive for buyers than late Tuesday's $1.6525. By the end of New York trading, the pound stood at $1.6490, cheaper than the $1.6520 of late Tuesday.
Other late dollar rates in New York, compared with late Tuesday, included: 1.8165 West German marks, up from 1.8125; 1.5105 Swiss francs, up from 1.5045; 6.0535 French francs, up from 6.0435; 1,309.50 Italian lire, up from 1,308.00 and 1.3143 Canadian dollars, up from 1.3140.
Gold edged up in London to a late bid price of $466 a troy ounce from late Tuesday's $465.