NEW YORK — The dollar fell Wednesday, giving back some of the gains of recent days in light, uneventful trading.
Gold prices rose slightly.
The dollar's recent rise had been fueled partly by speculation about strong demand by U.S. corporations that were repatriating profits at the end of the year. The dollar dipped as that speculation faded, said Heinz Bingelli of Merrill Lynch Capital Markets.
The market showed little reaction to a Commerce Department report that U.S. personal income rose 0.6% in November and 0.8% in October after exclusion of special factors, about in line with its recent trend.
"Fundamentally, there was absolutely no news to push the market one way or the other," said Hubert Pedroli, manager of corporate foreign exchange for Credit Suisse in New York.
In Tokyo, the dollar closed at 124.22 Japanese yen, down from 124.70 late Tuesday. In London late Wednesday, the dollar traded at 124.45 yen. Later in New York, the dollar fell to 124.55 yen from 125.33 yen late Tuesday.
In London, the British pound fell to $1.8065 from $1.8070 on Tuesday. But in New York, the pound's value of $1.8065 in late trading was up from $1.7957 late Tuesday.
Other late dollar rates in New York, compared to Tuesday's late rates, included: 1.7690 West German marks, down from 1.7803; 1.4945 Swiss francs, down from 1.5035; 1.1986 Canadian dollars, down from 1.2025; 6.0390 French francs, down from 6.0813, and 1,300.50 Italian lire, down from 1,310.75.
Other late rates in Europe, compared to Tuesday's late rates, included: 1.7720 West German marks, down from 1.7750; 1.4980 Swiss francs, down from 1.4995; 6.0500 French francs, down from 6.0675; 1.9920 Dutch guilders, down from 2.0080; 1,302.00 Italian lire, down from 1,309.32, and 1.2012 Canadian dollars, up from 1.2000.
Gold bullion prices rose after a series of falls linked to the recent decline in platinum prices. One Swiss dealer said the price rose as buying orders came in from U.S. customers.
Gold closed in Hong Kong at a bid of $415.94 an ounce, up from $415.67 an ounce Tuesday.
In London, the late bid for gold was $415.75 an ounce, up from Tuesday's $414.25. The late bid in Zurich, Switzerland, was $414.60 an ounce, up from $413.50.
On the Commodity Exchange in New York, gold bullion for current delivery rose to $415.30 an ounce from $414 an ounce Tuesday.
Later, Republic National Bank of New York said gold bullion was bid at $415 an ounce as of 4 p.m. EST, up from $413.90 an ounce late Tuesday.
Silver bullion traded late in London at a bid of $6.14 an ounce, up from Tuesday's $6.11. On New York's Comex, silver bullion for current delivery rose to $6.116 an ounce from $6.093 Tuesday.
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