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Naira ends 2017 high at 306/$1 at official FX market

The Nigerian currency, Naira at the close of official foreign exchange’s trading activities for 2017 ended on a positive note, traded an appreciable rate of N306 per US Dollar on the official firex market, FMDQ OTC data has revealed.

Since resumption on Wednesday December 27, 2017, from the two days public holiday declared by the Federal Government of Nigeria for Christmas and Boxing day celebrations, the local currency has being on steady gain against the US dollar and continued to the last trading day of the year 2017.

For instance, the Naira at the close of last Wednesday’s trading activities, stood at the 306.10, stronger than N306.15 traded the preceding week and gained further the following day to close at a better rate of 306.05 before closing the year at 306 to the dollar.

Although, the 306 per dollar on the official market has been the quoted rate and level at which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been intervening in the official foreign exchange market.

The Naira, also, reciprocated similar feat at the parallel segment of the forex market over the weekebd, to close at 363 to the dollar after steadied for two consecutive days at N364.

The unofficial forex market, had sold at N365 to the Greenback two weeks ago before strengthened to 364 last week and closed at 363 over the weekend, while pound sterling stood at a better rate of N484 against 485 traded last week, as well as Euro at N426 against 428 stood the previous week.

At the Investors and exporters (I&E) FX window, the Naira started trading low at 360.08 against N360.05, per Dollar on Thursday and N359.85 that stood on Wednesday, but closed at a better rate of 360.33 on Friday compared to 360.60 exchanged a day earlier and 360.70 recorded on Wednesday.

The Investors FX window, however, recorded total transacted turnover of $200.36 million on the last trading day of 2017.

Foreign exchange traders, however, believed that the Nigeria’s local currency will be stable in the first trading week of 2018, in anticipation that the apex would continued support the Naira through its regular interventions of injection of dollars into the market.

The I&E FX window, in the prereviius week has declared total transactions turnover of $1.319 billion, as the first day of that week turned the lowest transactions turnover of $109.67 million compared to $205.05m traded a week earlier at the same forex window.

Further breakdown, showed that the I&E FX window declared a better closing figure of $113.58m, looking at the daily closing rates and as well as against $96.77m sold in the previous week.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government this year planned to use the savings bond to finance the budget deficit; but investors appetite for investment in the savings bond diminished in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The December allotment figure shows that N246.41 million had been raised, the lowest savings bond Debt Management Office (DMO) generated this year over drop in coupon rate.

Analysts attributed the drop in savings bond coupon to improved macro economy.

The coupon rate allocated were 11.738 per cent for FGNSB DEC 2019, a two-year bond and 12.738 per cent for FGNSB DEC 2020, a three-year bond.

For November allotment, the figures shows that N256m had been raised through 12.091 per cent (FGNSB NOV 2019) two-year bond and 13.091 per cent (FGNSB NOV 2020) three-year bond.

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