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CURRENCY : Dollar Falls to 3-Month Low Against Yen

May 29, 1990|From Times Wire Services

The dollar closed lower against the West German mark and British pound Monday in quiet European trading due to national holidays in Britain and the United States.

In Tokyo, the dollar fell below 150 yen for the first time in nearly three months, falling 0.60 yen to a closing of 149.45 yen. Later in Europe, it was quoted lower at 149.39 yen.

The rising yen boosted Tokyo stock prices. The 225-share Nikkei index closed 397.73 points, 1.21%, higher at 33,191.61 after surging 482.13 Friday. Bullish news reports over the weekend and computer-driven program trading were also cited for the rise.

In Frankfurt, the market continued to watch events in the Soviet Union and the progress toward German reunification with great interest, but in the absence of news there was little inspiration for trading.

"One can't even call it technical trading," said a trader at a U.S. bank in Frankfurt.

"There are no external factors giving any direction to our market, and on our own we cannot do much," said one West German dealer.

"We all came in this morning expecting a dull day, and that is just what it has turned out to be," said another.

"With New York and London absent, nobody in the forex (foreign exchange) market is going to take big risks," said another trader at a West German bank.

A trader in Milan agreed. "The dollar is looking fairly stable, with a tendency to firm. But I don't expect much movement due to the holidays in London and New York. The market is pretty dead."

U.S. employment figures for May, due Friday, are considered the first figures likely to affect the market.

Economists are looking for an increase of 234,000 in the non-farm payroll in May, after it rose a modest 64,000 in April. New job growth is the most closely watched part of the employment report for clues to the direction of the economy.

In late European trading, the dollar closed at 1.6790 marks, down from 1.6825 in New York Friday.

The British pound was quoted at $1.6930 in Frankfurt, more expensive for buyers than late Friday's $1.6895 in London.

Against other currencies, the dollar was at 1.4210 Swiss francs, down from 1.4235, and 5.6580 French francs, down from 5.6615.

Against the Canadian dollar, the U.S. currency slipped slightly to C$1.1822 from C$1.1825.

Markets were closed in Hong Kong because of the Dragon Boat Festival.

Gold rose in Zurich but was not traded in Hong Kong or London, where exchanges were also was closed for a holiday. In Zurich, gold rose to a closing bid of $367.50, up 50 cents from late Friday.

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