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Unfounded Rumors of Reagan Heart Attack Hurt Dollar

Associated Press

Rumors that President Reagan had suffered a heart attack caused the dollar to fall sharply on European currency exchanges today, but it rebounded when the White House said Reagan was “hale and hearty.”

The U.S. currency shed 1% to 1.5% of its value in less than half an hour around Europe, and gold prices rose as dealers reacted to rumors that Reagan--a strong defender of the dollar--either was ill or had had a heart attack.

“The President arrived in the Oval Office this morning, accompanied by Lucky (the family dog). He was hale and hearty, ruddy and robust, virile and vigorous, strong and sturdy, and fit and feisty,” White House spokesman Larry Speakes said in Washington.

London trader Stephen Crookes said a rumor had started earlier in the Far East that Reagan was ill. Crookes said he suspected someone in Europe saw a chance to make money by making the rumor worse.

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