IN BRIEF : Central Banks Unite to Cool Dollar

From Times staff and wire service reports

At least seven central banks launched an attack against the dollar today, striving for the fourth time this week to check the currency’s potentially disruptive advance.

The dollar surged to a three-month high of 1.8430 West German marks in London before the central banks of the United States, West Germany, France, Britain, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy made concerted sales of the currency, dealers said.

After the intervention, the dollar traded around 1.8315 marks, slipping about one pfennig from session highs. The currency has still risen more than 3% since Jan. 1.

The dollar opened sharply higher in New York before retreating on the central bank sell-off and news of weaker-than-expected U.S. retail sales data, dealers said.