The dollar finished barely changed against the German mark and Japanese yen Fri-day, failing to hold its gains after February unemployment was reported at a 24-year low, and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin said Asia's economic crisis seems unlikely to worsen.

The dollar rallied against both of its major counterparts in morning trading immediately after the Labor Department reported that last month's jobless rate fell to 4.6 percent, its lowest level since October 1973, giving another strong example of the vibrant U.S. economy.The U.S. currency also got a small jolt in afternoon trading after Rubin said the chances are low that Asia's economic problems will spread. His comments came during a speech in New York to promote savings bonds.

Despite the rosy picture being painted for the dollar, it gave back most of its gains after both buying spurts.

In late New York trading, the dollar was quoted at 1.8328 marks, down from 1.8335 late Thursday.