The dollar slipped lower Thursday, reversing early gains following a Reagan Administration economist's comments indicating the dollar might fall further against other currencies.
Gold prices were mixed, declining in the United States after rising in Europe and Asia. Republic National Bank in New York quoted gold bullion at $406.75 an ounce, down from $410 late Wednesday.
Following up gains of Wednesday, the dollar was moving higher in early trading. But the currency got a shock when Robert Ortner, an undersecretary in the Department of Commerce, told a Washington conference that he believed the dollar still might be overvalued.
Ortner said that statistically the dollar's steep fall since early 1985 only partly made up for its heady rise during the early 1980s. He also said that he was speaking as an economist, and his remarks did not reflect administration policy.
Nevertheless, news of Ortner's comments sparked a swift and sharp dollar selloff.