Foreign Exchange : Dollar Off Against Most Currencies

Associated Press

The dollar edged lower against most major currencies in U.S. dealings after rising in Europe, while a strong British pound continued to take center stage on worldwide exchange markets. Gold prices were little changed to mostly lower. Republic National Bank in New York quoted gold bullion at $406.50 an ounce, the same as late Tuesday's price.

Dealers and other foreign-exchange experts speculated that the Federal Reserve may have intervened on behalf of the West German mark by selling dollars and buying the German currency. The Fed does not immediately comment on such action. "There were rumors . . . (but) I haven't been able to confirm that," said Joseph Cally, a trader for Prudential-Bache Securities Inc.

But Michael Papaioannou, director of Foreign Exchange Service for Wharton Econometrics, said, "What makes me suspect intervention was the sharp decline in the dollar in a very short period of time. We most often see activity like that in cases of intervention."

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