The dollar continued falling against major foreign currencies in quiet trading Friday, as the British pound rose to 2 1/2 year highs on optimism that OPEC was moving toward an agreement that would boost world oil prices.
The price of gold rose sharply. Republic Bank of New York said that as of 4 p.m. EST, gold bullion was quoted at a bid of $356.25 an ounce, up $4.65 from Thursday's close.
Analysts said the pound has been strengthened recently by relatively high British interest rates, which make returns more attractive on sterling-denominated investments, and by a rally on the London Stock Market.
In addition, sterling has benefited from signs that OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, would reach a workable plan to end its oil price war by cutting production.
Britain, while not an OPEC member, is the world's fifth-largest oil producer and repeatedly has said it would not cut its oil output.