Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Dollar Falls in Europe in Wake of March Trade Figures Report

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Dollar Falls in Europe in Wake of March Trade Figures Report

Article excerpt

currencies in worldwide trading Thursday as dealers shrugged off a government report showing the U.S. trade deficit narrowed significantly in March.

Gold prices rose in domestic activity after trading mixed overseas. Republic National Bank in New York at 4 p.m. EDT quoted gold bullion at $463.75 a troy ounce, up from $458.00 late Wednesday.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the March merchandise trade deficit narrowed to $13.6 billion from $15.1 billion in February. A 12.9 percent rise in exports to $21.1 billion - the highest level since a March 1981 record of $22.9 billion - accounted for much of the deficit's decline.

Because the Reagan administration has been counting on weakness in the dollar to help ease the U.S. trade imbalance, a shrinking deficit generally raises speculation that the United States would not act to depress the currency further.

But currency dealers in the United States and Europe said the decline wasn't enough to support the dollar.

``It's still very high considering (Treasury Secretary James) Baker said we would see a turnaround in our trade figure,'' said James Pugh, a vice president at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co.

Ronald Holzer, chief currency dealer for Harris Trust & Co., said, ``There were some people expecting it was going to be quite a bit better than it came out. The trade figure still is the major overhang in the dollar picture right now.''

Holzer said the market also was negatively affected by a Wednesday report from Tokyo showing Japan's trade surplus with the United States reached $5.15 billion in April, a record in dollar terms.

In Tokyo, where trading ends before Europe's business day begins, the dollar fell to a closing 139. …

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