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Qatar says debate on dollar oil trade continues

Dubai, October 21, 2009

Qatar's oil minister said the debate was ongoing on using the US dollar for oil trade or shifting to a basket of currencies, the official Qatar News Agency reported on Wednesday.

A long-running debate over the currency used for commodity dealings was raised again by a British newspaper article earlier this month that said China, Japan, Russia and France were in secret talks with Gulf states to stop using the dollar for oil trading.

Big oil producers denied it at the time, but dollar weakness has kept up the question of whether it can remain the world's reserve currency. Producers and oil company executives on Tuesday said the dollar was likely to stay the currency of oil trade and dismissed the speculation of a shift.

'The debate continues also on whether it would be beneficial to rely on the dollar as a currency to sell oil or to search for a basket of currencies,' QNA reported Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, also deputy prime minister of the Opec member, as saying in Italy. QNA gave no further details.

Gulf oil producers, some of the world's largest exporters, do all their oil trade in dollars.

On Tuesday, Attiyah said that he believed oil trade would continue as it was and that introducing another currency or basket would be difficult.

Dollar oil trade is of huge significance to the US economy, as well as to other governments that might think it is their turn to acquire the advantage the United States has long held.-Reuters




Tags: Dollar | currencies | oil trade |

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