Just one more sign that the rest of the world is losing faith in the dollar......

(Financial Times) Kuwait yesterday removed its currency peg to the US dollar, throwing plans for Gulf currency union by 2010 into doubt and raising the prospect that other oil-producing states might abandon long-held dollar pegs.

Sheikh Salem Abdelaziz Al Sabah, governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait, told the official Kuwait news agency the decision had been made owing to the "detrimental effects of the pegging system to the national economy".

Since late last year, Kuwaiti officials have hinted that the country would revert to a basket of currencies to prevent the sliding dollar increasing the cost of imports, which has stoked inflation to more than 4 per cent, double the historic average. This has encouraged speculators to plough billions of dollars into the dinar over the past few months, betting that the central bank would allow the dinar to appreciate.

Yesterday the dinar traded up 0.4 per cent as the central bank replaced the peg with a basket of undisclosed currencies. The central bank had allowed the currency to vary up to 3.5 per cent from the peg, but the dinar had been at the top end of the approved trading band for a year owing to the continuing weakness of the dollar and the strength of Kuwait's oil-driven economy.

The dollar is expected to make up about 75-80 per cent of the new basket, reducing the third largest Arab oil exporter's exposure to the weakening dollar.