THE US dollar tumbled to a three-week low against the deutschemark and slid against the yen in Tokyo yesterday amid concern that the White House and Congress would remain deadlocked over the issue of balancing the budget, traders said. The stalemate had led to a United States Government shutdown that began on Tuesday after White House officials and congressional leaders could not agree on a spending bill. President Bill Clinton had vetoed a bill crafted by Republican Congressional leaders. The bill was intended to replace a temporary funding bill that expired at midnight on Monday in Washington. 'A clear picture isn't seen yet' on when both sides would reach an agreement on budget issues, said Ichiro Ikeda, vice-president at Goldman Sachs in Tokyo. 'People, for now, feel hesitant to invest in the US.' The dollar fell to as low as 1.3973 marks, down from 1.4129 in late New York trading on Tuesday. It fell as low as 100.71 yen, down from 101.51 in New York. It was recently at 100.90 yen and at 1.4028 marks. Both sides had not been able to raise the US$4.9 trillion debt limit. Concern that the country might default on its debts was allayed on Monday when Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin outlined measures to avoid the unprecedented default. Tatsuo Hatori, an economist at Daiwa Research Institute, said: 'Until the wrangling ends, the dollar will struggle to rise.' Traders said Japan's lower interest rates kept the yen strong against the dollar. Japan's discount rate, at which the Bank of Japan lends money overnight to banks, is 0.5 per cent. That would hurt the yen by making yen-denominated deposits less attractive.