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More counter-point to Dollar-negative story

The dollar eased in response to the report, which was written by The Independent's Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk and cited unidentified sources in Gulf Arab states and Chinese banking sources in Hong Kong.

It said the proposal was for trade in crude oil to move over nine years to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen, the Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

'NOT LIKELY'

Analysts said that while individual countries would find it relatively easy to stop using the dollar in oil trades, as Iran has done, replacing the currency in which oil is priced would require a massive effort.