NEW YORK — The dollar firmed Monday against all major currencies except the Canadian dollar in generally quiet worldwide trading.
Gold prices were sharply lower. At the Republic National Bank of New York, the late bid for gold was $469.25 an ounce, down $9.10 from late Friday.
Currency dealers said the markets still remained skeptical about the dollar, and attributed the rebound largely to technical factors and to fears of central bank intervention.
The dollar was helped indirectly, they said, by the fact that many dealers were selling European currencies in exchange for the Japanese yen.
"They were selling Europe and buying Japan," said James O'Neill, a vice president and economist at Marine Midland Bank.
In Europe, dealers said the dollar was helped by remarks from Karl Otto Poehl, president of the West German central bank, who told reporters that the dollar's prospects were improving because imbalances were decreasing in United States' trade and its current account.
In Tokyo, where global trading begins, the dollar fell to 127.45 Japanese yen from 127.70 late Friday. It traded higher in London at 127.78 yen. Later, in New York, the dollar stood at 127.95 yen, up from 127.13 yen.
One British pound cost $1.7735 in London trading, cheaper for buyers than $1.7838 late Friday. Sterling fetched $1.76825 in New York, down from $1.7875.
Other late dollar rates in New York, compared to late Friday, were: 1.68325 West German marks, up from 1.6680; 1.36386 Swiss francs, up from 1.3505; 1.2785 Canadian dollars, down from 1.28085; 5.66025 French francs, up from 5.6255, and 1,235.70 Italian lire, up from 1,226.00.
At the New York Commodity Exchange, gold bullion for current delivery was quoted at $469.30.