P129 CEEFAX 129 Thu 23 Jun 20:04/52       FOREIGN EXCHANGES/THURSDAY CLOSE  After holding steady during the morning the pound gained sharply this afternoon on strong US buying and news of a rise in USSR crude oil prices. By the close, the pound was over a cent higher dollar terms and its gains against the Continentals helped its wider international value recover from Wednesday's close of 83.7 to stand at 84.3. As the markets waited for a firmer lead on US interest rate trends, the dollar moved ahead as buyers returned on suggestions of a rise in prime rates.  EXCHANGE RATES 135 