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CURRENCY : Dollar Edges Higher as Dealers Await 3 Key Economic Reports

From Associated Press

The dollar drifted higher Monday against most key currencies in quiet worldwide trading as dealers awaited the release of key economic data.

Gold prices were mostly lower. Republic National Bank of New York quoted a late bid of $393 an ounce, down 50 cents from Friday’s late bid.

Daniel Holland, a vice president at Discount Corp., said internal market influences were largely responsible for the dollar’s advance but that most dealers were keeping a low profile until economic reports from the United States, Britain and Japan were released today.

“The market is a little cautious,” he said.

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British Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson will present the spring federal budget to Parliament, the U.S. Commerce Department reports the fourth-quarter current account trade balance and Japan releases its latest report on wholesale prices.

Dealers said sentiment toward the dollar remained fairly bullish, although worries of possible central bank intervention kept trading in a fairly narrow range.

In Tokyo, where trading ends before Europe’s business day begins, the dollar rose 0.69 Japanese yen to 129.57 yen. It was quoted at 129.86 yen in London, and later in New York it stood at 130.175 yen, up from 129.40 on Friday.

The dollar gained against the British pound. It cost $1.7125 to buy one pound in London, cheaper than $1.7159 on Friday. In New York, sterling fetched $1.71295, down from $1.7177.

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Other late dollar rates in New York, compared to late Friday, included: 1.8675 West German marks, up from 1.86175; 1.5970 Swiss francs, up from 1.58975; 1.19815 Canadian dollars, down from 1.19865; 6.32625 French francs, up from 6.3140, and 1,369.25 Italian lire, up from 1,366.75.

Tables, Page 12


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