Brand America

Sure, sure, the various countries switching from the dollar to the euro are only diversifying their holdings. Right.

Countries with large holdings of dollars in their foreign-exchange reserves are showing a new willingness to dump the dollar in favor of the rising euro.

The latest to make a major move is the United Arab Emirates, which joined Russia, Switzerland, Venezuela and others late last month when it shifted a chunk of its reserves into euros.

There have also been ambiguous signals from China about a possible pullback from the dollar, and recent word from Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil producer, that it would prefer to be paid in euros rather than the usual dollars for its oil shipments.

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News of the United Arab Emirates decision contributed to the dollar’s fall against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen last week. For all of 2006, the euro appreciated more than 11 percent against the dollar and the British pound rose nearly 14 percent.