NEW YORK — The dollar was little changed in quiet trading Friday as many market participants, tired after a turbulent week, stayed on the sidelines.
Gold prices rose slightly. Republic National Bank in New York quoted a bid of $464.50 for an ounce of gold as of 4 p.m. EST, up from $463.60 late Thursday.
"People are sick and tired of chasing it up and down," said Ted Wolicki, a trader with Continental Illinois National Bank & Trust Co. in Chicago. "Most of the market was willing to sit it out today."
The fact that it was Friday, following a week of erratic movements in the dollar, contributed to the market's lethargy, said James Vick, a vice president at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co.
During the course of the week, the dollar reached new lows against many of the major foreign currencies. But on Thursday, it rose sharply after the Commerce Department announced that the U.S. trade deficit had narrowed to $14.08 billion in September.
Traders were reluctant to take major positions in advance of the weekend, analysts said, and as a result, the dollar moved in a narrow range Friday.
The market continued to await word from Washington that the White House and Congress have reached a compromise on budget cuts.
No Fresh News
In European trading, the dollar also fluctuated. It slipped when there was still no agreement on reducing the budget deficit, but moved higher after announcements of better than expected retail sales figures and a fall in producer prices in the United States during October. However, toward the close, with no fresh news to influence the markets, the dollar edged downward again.
In London, the British pound fell to $1.7650 late Friday from Thursday's late $1.7680. In later New York trading, the pound rose to $1.7700 from $1.7655.
Other late dollar rates in New York, compared to late Thursday's rates, included: 1.6875 West German marks, down from 1.6885; 1.3860 Swiss francs, down from 1.38925; 5.7285 French francs, up from 5.7215; 1,243.50 Italian lire, down from 1,244.00; and 1.3182 Canadian dollars, down from 1.31825.
Other late rates for the dollar in Europe, compared to late Thursday's rates, included: 1.6915 West German marks, down from 1.6940; 1.3935 Swiss francs, up from 1.3910; 5.7455 French francs, up from 5.7350; 1.9025 Dutch guilders, up from 1.9000; 1,245.50 Italian lire, up from 1,244.75; 1.3177 Canadian dollars, unchanged.
In Tokyo the dollar closed at 136.05 Japanese yen, up from 134.80 Thursday. In London late Friday the dollar traded at 136.075 yen, and it was unchanged in New York at 135.835 yen.
Gold bullion prices rose. Traders said dealing was slow, but prices rose late in the day on reports of more Persian Gulf troubles, with Iraq announcing more attacks on shipping and Iran calling for a new offensive against Iraq.