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CURRENCY : Dollar Edges Higher; Gold Prices Climb

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Associated Press

The dollar rose against most major currencies Thursday but its increase was modest, a sign of the success of central banks’ efforts to halt its recent ascent. Gold prices rose.

Foreign exchange dealers said trading was cautious in the aftermath of Wednesday’s concerted dollar-selling by the Federal Reserve and at least eight other central banks.

“They (central banks) have in fact capped the dollar,” said Marc Cohen, a vice president of Republic National Bank of New York. But Cohen said there was strong support for the dollar at current levels, meaning the currency is “trapped” for now in a narrow trading range.

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“The market just seemed to be settling in ranges,” said Robert Ryan, corporate foreign exchange manager for Irving Trust Co.

Gold bullion prices were up by about $1 an ounce but traders said the market lacked sparkle.

On the Commodity Exchange in New York, gold bullion for current delivery rose to $404.50 an ounce from $403.40 Wednesday. Later, Republic National Bank of New York said gold was bid at $404.20 an ounce as of 4 p.m. EST, up from $403.65 late Wednesday.

Silver bullion traded late in London at $5.95 bid an ounce, up from $5.94 late Wednesday. On New York’s Comex, silver bullion for current delivery fell to $5.916 an ounce from $5.921.

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