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CURRENCY : Dollar Mixed on GNP Report; Gold Price Up

From Associated Press

The dollar turned narrowly mixed in quiet trading Tuesday after the government released its latest data on economic growth.

Gold prices rose slightly after falling overseas. Republic National Bank of New York said gold was bid at $387 an ounce at 4 p.m. EST, up 50 cents from Monday’s late bid.

Dealers said the dollar finished higher overseas and opened firmer in domestic trading, but it lost ground after the Commerce Department reported that the economy grew at a lackluster annual rate of 2% in the fourth quarter.

The slowdown in the gross national product, the total output of goods and services, was accompanied by a pickup in the inflation rate as food prices and the costs of imports rose, the report said.

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“The GNP figures were a little bit lower than expected,” said George DeLuna, a trader with Irving Trust Co.

He said the dollar also was held in check by marketwide fears of central bank intervention.

“The central banks have the markets well under control here,” DeLuna said.

In Tokyo, where trading ends before Europe’s business day begins, the dollar rose 1.15 Japanese yen to close at 127.15 yen. It was quoted lower in London at 126.70 yen but at 126.89 yen in New York, up from 126.775 yen.

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The dollar gained against the British pound in London but fell in New York. It cost $1.7430 to buy one pound in London, cheaper than $1.7440 late Monday. Sterling fetched $1.7430 in New York, up from $1.73795.

Other late dollar rates in New York, compared to Monday’s levels, included: 1.82275 West German marks, down from 1.82435; 1.5549 Swiss francs, up from 1.5530; 1.19925 Canadian dollars, down from 1.20325; 6.2035 French francs, down from 6.2070, and 1,341.75 Italian lire, down from 1,343.00.

Late dollar rates in Europe, compared to Monday, included: 1.8230 West German marks, up from 1.8150; 1.5535 Swiss francs, up from 1.5495; 6.1975 French francs, up from 6.1775; 2.0555 Dutch guilders, up from 2.0490; 1.2005 Canadian dollars, down from 1.2025, and 1,341.50 Italian lire, up from 1,339.62.

On the Commodity Exchange in New York, gold bullion for current delivery closed at $387.50, up 20 cents from Monday.

Gold fell in London to a late bid of $386.75, compared to late Monday’s $389. In Zurich, Switzerland, gold closed at $387.15, down from $390.25.

Earlier, in Hong Kong, gold fell $4.09 to close at $388.85.

Silver bullion prices fell. On New York’s Comex, silver for current delivery declined to $5.822 from $5.845 on Monday. Silver fell in London to $5.86 from $5.93.


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