NEW YORK — The dollar turned lower Monday against most major currencies in thin U.S. dealings after rising against the Japanese yen in Tokyo. European markets were closed for a post-Easter holiday.
Gold prices moved higher in reaction to the weaker dollar. Republic National Bank in New York quoted gold bullion at $452.50 an ounce, up from $443.25 on Thursday.
There was no gold trading in the United States, Europe and Hong Kong on Friday in observance of Good Friday. Bullion markets in Europe and Hong Kong also were closed Monday.
With the absence of any fresh economic data and European trading there was little to move the foreign exchange markets, traders said.
"We really have a situation where the action here in New York has been trying to take as a clue what's been going on in the other markets," said Lawrence L. Kreicher, international economist and vice president of Irving Trust Co. "We've been playing more the follower than the leader."
Kreicher said traders reacted negatively to a sharp drop Monday in the credit markets, with some seeing the decline in bond prices as an indication of renewed inflation.
The dollar edged up against the Japanese yen on the Tokyo foreign exchange market, closing at 142.95 yen, up from Friday's close of 142.80 yen. Later, in New York, the dollar traded at 142.30 yen, down from 143.10 yen on Friday.
The dollar was down against the British pound in New York. Sterling fetched $1.63375, compared to $1.6300 on Friday.
Other late dollar rates in New York, compared to late Friday's rates, included: 1.8110 West German marks, down from 1.8150; 1.4875 Swiss francs, down from 1.49675, and 1.31775 Canadian dollars, down from 1.31945.
6.0325 French francs, down from 6.0335, and 1,293.75 Italian lire, up from 1,291.25.
Gold bullion for current delivery rose to $453.60 an ounce on the New York Commodity Exchange, up from $444.10 late Thursday.