NEW YORK — The dollar hit nearly a six-year low against the West German mark and dropped against other major foreign currencies as the U.S. government reported more sluggish economic figures Thursday, but the American currency then drifted upward for the rest of the day.
Gold prices were mixed. Bullion was quoted at $424.75 an ounce at 4 p.m. EDT at Republic National Bank in New York, down 50 cents from Wednesday's late bid.
The Federal Reserve Board reported that production at U.S. factories, mines and utilities edged up 0.1 percent in September. The Commerce Department said total business sales rose 0.4 percent and inventories held by businesses were unchanged in August.
"There was a little bit of dollar selling at the announcements," said Bob Hinton, a vice president at Barclays Bank PLC. Then, "during the course of the day, it slightly drifted up, not much at all."
Jeff Mondschein, a vice president at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets, said: "The market has been buffeted by the economic news of this week."