Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Dollar Closes Mostly Lower; Gold Up

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Dollar Closes Mostly Lower; Gold Up

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) - The dollar closed lower against most foreign currencies, but scored gains against the Japanese yen Monday.

Gold prices rose. Republic National Bank in New York reported a late bid of $446.50 an ounce, up $2.50 from Friday.

Dealers said the U.S. currency kept to a narrow range in thin, quiet trading as the market awaited new economic statistics due at mid-week.

Some traders were looking for Tuesday's release of June retail sales figures would give them ``an indication of the strength of the economy,'' said Zlatko Glamuzina, vice president and chief dealer at Banco di Sicilia in New York.

Economists have said they expect only a slight improvement of between 0.3 percent to 0.4 percent in retail sales figures as consumer spending remains flat.

More eyes will be on the government's release Wednesday of the merchandise trade balance for May.

Several analysts offered different predictions of the U.S. deficit, ranging from $13 billion to $15 billion.

``It should be very exciting,'' said Yani Budiman, vice president of Chemical New York Capital Markets Group.

If the figure is not as good as expectations, Budiman said the dollar would take a beating. ``It will trade a lot lower,'' he said.

While domestic trading was quiet, the dollar was more active earlier in markets in the Far East, where dealers had an opportunity to react to last week's news that Japan's June trade surplus had narrowed from year-earlier levels.

``It was released too late to respond last week,'' Glamuzina said, but market participants now are speculating the the U.S. trade deficit may have narrowed from the previous month.

Trading was also light in Europe, where dealers also were ``cautious'' prior to the release of the U.S. trade figures.

The dollar entered its second week of trading above the psychologically important 150 barrier against the yen, prompting traders to redefine the dollar-yen trading range. …

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