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Naira closes at N306.95/$1 at official forex market

…Gains marginally against dollar at Investors window, unofficial market

Motolani Oseni

The Nigerian currency, Naira at the end of Wednesday trading activities, closed flat at N306.95 against the dollar for the third consecutive day this week at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) interbank market.

The local currency, however, gained marginally to the dollar at the Investors & Exporters Foreign Exchange (I & E FX) window and the parallel market in Lagos, exchanging at N360.29 and N358 to the dollar, respectively.

The naira had opened trading this week at N306.9 against the dollar. Although, this is in anticipation of the regular intervention in the interbank foreign exchange market by the apex bank.

As of the end of yesterday trading activities, the Naira, at the I & E FX window appreciated by 0.04 per cent to N360.29 but closed flat at N360.00 at the parallel market.

Also in the parallel market, the Naira remained unchanged at N472 and N406 against the Pounds Sterling and Euro respectively.

According to the FMDQ OTC Securities, a total turnover in the I & E FX declined by 66.3 per cent to $60.94 million on Wednesday from $180.69 million, with trades consummated within the N357.00-N363.50/dollar band.

For the fixed income, money market trading of Wednesday, the overnight lending rate declined further by 33 basis points to close at 10per cent in the absence of any significant outflows.

Proceedings in the NTB market were bullish, as average yield moderated by 13 basis points to 13.33per cent. Buy sentiment was spread across the mid (-15 basis points) and long (-22 basis points) segments, with the yield on the 148DTM (-66 basis points) and 316DTM (-56 basis points) bills recording the most significant contractions.

Conversely, a selloff of the 15DTM (+84 basis points) bill led to yield expansion at the short (+8 basis points) end of the curve.

At Wednesday’s primary action, the CBN fully allotted N89.50 billion worth of bills – N5.00 billion of the 91-day, N14.00 billion of the 182-day and N70.50 billion of the 364-day – at respective stop rates of 10.75 per cent (previously 10.90%), 12.50 per cent (previously 13.01%), and 12.845 per cent (previously 14.37%). Stop rates moderated by an average of 73 bps following significant oversubscription.