NEW YORK — The dollar closed lower Wednesday in lackluster trading, continuing its steady drift down this week from the peaks attained last week after news that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed in December.
No new factors emerged to account for the dollar's softer tone, and some dealers said technical factors still pointed to a higher dollar in the near future.
But in the absence of corporate orders to sustain the dollar's recent rise, the market decided to test the downside, dealers said.
Gold prices rose. Republic National Bank of New York quoted a late bid for gold of $446.25 an ounce, up from Tuesday's late bid of $444.15.
In Tokyo, where the business day ends as Europe's begins, the dollar fell to 130.41 Japanese yen, down 0.09 yen from Tuesday.
Later, in London, it was quoted lower at 130.30 yen. In New York, the dollar closed at 130.125 yen, down from 130.385 yen.
In London, the dollar fell against the British pound, which was quoted at $1.7490, compared to $1.7440.
Other later dollar rates in New York, compared to late rates Tuesday, included: 1.7010 West German marks, down from 1.71045; 1.3995 Swiss francs, down from 1.4040; 5.7395 French francs, down from 5.7805; 1,253.50 Italian lire, down from 1,258.00, and 1.2673 Canadian dollars, down from 1.2685.
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