NEW YORK — The dollar was narrowly mixed in light trading Tuesday as pre-holiday doldrums settled over the foreign exchange markets.
Gold prices rose. Republic National Bank of New York reported a bid of $484.60 for an ounce of gold, down nearly $5 from $479.75 late Monday.
Foreign exchange dealers said activity was light with the approach of the Christmas holiday.
In New York, the dollar traded in the narrow range set on overseas markets, said John McCarthy, vice president of foreign exchange for Irving Trust Co. in New York.
"Traders are just not willing to make substantial commitments to the marketplace," said Jack Barbanel, a vice president with Gruntal & Co. in New York.
The dollar was expected to remain around its current levels, barring unforeseen political developments through the holiday season, Barbanel said.
The dollar began the day in Tokyo by dropping to 126.55 yen from 126.65 late Monday. In London, the currency traded at 126.80 yen, down from 126.93 late Monday. In later New York trading, it fell to 126.40 yen from 126.655 late Monday.
In London, one British pound cost $1.8290 late Tuesday, more expensive for buyers than Monday's late $1.8275. The pound slipped to $1.8340 in New York from $1.84 late Monday.
Other late dollar rates in New York, compared to late Monday's prices, included: 1.6275 West German marks, down from 1.6290; 1.3220 Swiss francs, down from 1.32225; 5.5060 French francs, down from 5.5300; 1,197.50 Italian lire, up from 1,195.50, and 1.30595 Canadian dollars, down from 1.3072.
Late dollar rates in Europe, compared to rates late Monday, included: 1.6285 West German marks, down from 1.6307; 1.3255 Swiss francs, unchanged; 5.5160 French francs, up from 5.5145; 1.8370 Dutch guilders, up from 1.8345; 1,199.75 Italian lire, up from 1,198.50, and 1.3049 Canadian dollars, down from 1.3068.
The price of gold closed at $483.90 on the Commodity Exchange in New York, up from $479.60 late Monday.
Gold prices also rose in earlier trading overseas, but dealers in Zurich said that, in the thin holiday market, the appearance of only a handful of buyers was enough to send bullion up several dollars.
Dealers said they expect gold to range between $480 and $485 an ounce for the rest of this year.
Gold closed in London at a bid of $482.40 an ounce, up from $479.50. The late bid price in Zurich was $483.50 bid, up from $479.50.
Earlier in Hong Kong, gold closed at $482.60 bid, up from $481.52.
Silver edged up on the Commodity Exchange in New York to $6.808 from $6.78 late Monday. In London, silver traded at a bid of $6.83 an ounce, up from late Monday's $6.78.
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