DOLLAR CREEPS HIGHER IN DESULTORY TRADING

DOLLAR CREEPS HIGHER IN DESULTORY TRADING

The U.S. dollar climbed fractionally higher in quiet trading Tuesday, with dealers citing a lack of news or sentiment to push the greenback strongly one way or the other.

There are just no new ideas in the market, said one trader. With Japan

closed and London just back from a holiday, there's just no incentive one way or the other. It's really, really quiet.She doubted there would be any critical movement before the U.S. April employment report, scheduled for release Friday morning. Many traders, she added, are already looking ahead to the U.S. March trade data May 17.

Another trader claimed the only dollar movement since Monday occurred between the Australian and New Zealand currencies. That movement seems to reflect the increased stability of the dollar against the majors, which allowed the market to shift some of its attention to the secondary high-yield currencies, the trader said.

Fund managers have been long in Australian dollars, and continue to like it, he added.

In London Tuesday, the dollar was narrowly mixed and the market remained largely directionless on a lack of fundamental news, dealers said.

Speculation over a hike in West German interest rates, prompted by the Bundesbank's announcement of a press conference Thursday, disappeared by midday and the dollar pared some of its morning losses against the deutsche mark caused by the announcement, dealers said.

Trading was very quiet, and dealers said most participants are waiting for the release of the U.S. employment data Friday for a sense of fresh direction.

Traders said there was little anticipation of a near-term hike in U.S. interest rates despite the 0.25 percentage point increase Friday in the Riggs National Bank's prime rate to 8.75 percent.

However, one dealer said Monday's March U.S. factory orders and construction spending data, which showed rises of 1.6 percent and 1.5 percent respectively, have heightened inflation worries and improved the chances of a hike.