NEW YORK — The dollar fell against most major currencies in domestic trading Tuesday after turning in a mixed performance overseas.
Gold prices were mostly lower. Republic National Bank of New York quoted a late bid for gold of $444.15 an ounce, down from Friday's late bid of $445.50. U.S. currency and commodity markets were closed Monday in observance of Washington's Birthday.
Traders said the dollar fell after rising late last week on a government report that the U.S. trade deficit for December shrank for the second consecutive month.
"There was a lack of follow-through buying, particularly on behalf of the Japanese," in reaction to the improved trade picture, said Stephen Flanagan, an assistant vice president at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co.
In European trading, the dollar was firmer, although dealers could not pinpoint a trend. Foreign exchange dealers said markets were quiet, with some West German markets closed for a holiday.
In Tokyo, the dollar closed at 130.50 Japanese yen, down from 131.00 yen late Monday. Later in London, the dollar traded at 130.30 yen. In New York trading, the dollar closed at 130.385 yen, down from 130.925 yen on Friday.
The British pound fell to $1.7440 from $1.7455 in London dealings. In New York, it cost $1.74625 to buy one pound, more expensive than late Friday's $1.74175.
Other late dollar rates in New York, compared to Friday's late rates, included: 1.71045 West German marks, down from 1.7115; 1.4040 Swiss francs, down from 1.4087; 5.7805 French francs, down from 5.7820; 1,258.00 Italian lire, down from 1,260.75, and 1.2685 Canadian dollars, up from 1.26445.
On the New York Commodity Exchange, gold bullion traded at $445, down from $445.30.
Silver bullion traded late in London at $6.39 bid an ounce, up from $6.35. On the Comex, silver closed at $6.355, down from $6.370.