KUWAIT CITY (AP) _ Kuwait's national currency, the dinar, was pegged solely to the dollar beginning Sunday, the first working day of the year, ending a 27-year-old link to a basket of currencies.

The measure was in line with a Gulf Cooperation Council plan to achieve a single currency by 2010. Until Sunday, Kuwait was the only GCC member with a currency not pegged to the dollar.

The GCC is a political and economic alliance grouping Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

The Central Bank set a parity rate of 299.63 fils _ 1 dinar equals 1,000 fils _ to the dollar. According to a statement provided to the state-run Kuwait News Agency, the bank provided for a 3.5 percent fluctuation margin that is expected to ``absorb sharp changes'' in exchange rates on international markets.

The change is not seen as major since the dollar weighed heavily in the basket of currencies previously used to fix the dinar rate. Also, Kuwait's oil revenues in the national budget are calculated according to a fixed rate for the dollar and most of the state's foreign investments are in dollars.

Sunday was the first working day in 2003. Government offices were closed Wednesday through Saturday to mark the Silver Jubilee of the reign of the emir, Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah, and the new year.