NEW YORK, New York - Early gains on Wall Street gave way to a mixed close on Wall Street on Wednesday.
The U.S. dollar and the euro lost ground to the British pound which rose sharply to 1.3133 versus the dollar.
There was indecision in the air as concern over the coronavirus, which drove markets a day earlier, seemed to subside, notwithstanding the death toll rising to seventeen, with 540 cases now confirmed worldwide.
The impeachment trial in Washington had little impact as opening statements only began earlier Wednesday.
At the end of the trading day Wednesday, the Dow Jones index was down 9.77 points or 0.03% at 29,186.27.
The Standard and Poor's 500 was pretty much unchanged, ahead just 0.96 of a point or 0.03% at 3,321.75.
The Nasdaq Composite gained 12.96 points or 0.14% to 9,383.277.
The euro was little changed against the dollar, but down against the pound. It last traded at 1.1090 in late trading in New York Wednesday.
The Japanese yen was unmoved at 109.86. The Swiss franc was little changed at 0.9681.
The Canadian dollar sank despite the Bank of Canada leaving official interest rates unchanged on Wednesday. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz however told reporters at a news conference rates could be cut in the future. "But it hinges on how the data evolve from here," he said.
The Canadian dollar last traded at 1.3140, a low for the year.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars traded in a tight range at 0.6840 and 0.6596 respectively.
On overseas markets it was a mixed bag with gains in Asia, but losses in Europe. A threat by U.S. President Donald Trump to impose new tariffs on European-made automobiles appeared to have some effect.
At the close on Wednesday the FTSE 100 in London was down 0.51%. The German Dax declined 0.30%. The Paris-based CAC 40 fell 0.58%.
Stocks in Asia rebounded on Wednesday, clawing back some of the extensive losses of a day earlier.
The Hang Seng was ahead 355.71 points or 1.27% at 28,341.04.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 166.79 points or 0.70% to 24,031.35.
China's Shanghai Composite rose 8.61 points or 0.28% to 3,060.75.
The Australian All Ordinaries climbed 68.50 points or 0.95% to 7,249.00.