GREENSPAN'S REMARKS LIFT DOLLAR FOR SHORT PERIOD

GREENSPAN'S REMARKS LIFT DOLLAR FOR SHORT PERIOD

The U.S. dollar turned mixed Wednesday after rising on Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan's remark that he doesn't want the dollar any lower.

Mr. Greenspan's statement Wednesday lifted the dollar against several currencies, but analysts wondered why so declarative an endorsement did not rally the dollar.The explanations were mixed. Some analysts said the dollar remains in a downtrend for technical reasons. Others said while the Fed may prefer a dollar as it is or higher, the White House may prefer it softer.

Today's revision of the fourth quarter U.S. gross national product is another questionmark. Most expect a higher number, but suspect a higher inventories component could mean a softer first quarter. There is also fresh talk of a large trade deficit figure for January, due out March 17.

Traders have been selling so long it's hard to reverse their psychology, even when the signs should indicate it, said Robert Ryan of Irving Trust Co.

The dollar closed steady in London Wednesday in response to numerous positive statements by U.S. officials, traders said.

Traders said Mr. Greenspan's comment that he did not advocate a further decline in the dollar, and that the United States has turned the corner on trade aided the U.S. unit.

They said the dollar also benefited from White House chief economic adviser Beryl Sprinkel's comment he was delighted with the Fed's monetary policy.