Dollar Drifts Lower; Gold Off

Associated Press

The dollar drifted lower Friday against most key currencies except the British pound and Canadian dollar, as dealers shrugged off the U.S. government's latest set of economic indicators.

Gold prices fell. Republic National Bank in New York quoted gold at $403.75 an ounce, compared with $408.40 late Thursday.

Currency dealers said the market paid little attention to the government's economic reports showing February wholesale prices rose a scant 0.1% and industrial production grew at a moderate 0.5%.

The government also reported Friday that business sales plunged 4.5% in January, the biggest decline on record, while inventories shot up 0.9%.

Lawrence L. Kreicher, a vice president and international economist at Irving Trust, said traders were more interested in recent remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who said he was concerned about the high U.S. trade deficit.

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