NEW YORK — The dollar was mixed against major currencies in light trading Tuesday as the U.S. government reported a widening of the balance of payments deficit and a drop in new home construction. The price of gold fell late in the day in the United States after rising earlier in Hong Kong and Europe.
Republic National Bank of New York said gold bullion was bid at $320.75 an ounce, down $1.75 from Monday's late bid.
Foreign exchange dealers said the dollar dipped after the release of worse-than-expected figures on the U.S. balance of payments and housing starts.
The deficit in the U.S. current account, a broad measure of trade and investment flows, widened to $30.5 billion in the July-September quarter, the Commerce Department said.
The slowdown in housing probably confirmed traders' opinions that the Federal Reserve will accommodate lower interest rates to stimulate the economy, said Lawrence Kreicher, an economist at Irving Trust Co., a large New York bank.