The Naira yesterday depreciated marginally to close at 489 or 490 per US dollar, against N487 to a dollar it sold on Wednesday, with customers getting the higher rate depending on bargaining power.
Some dealers sold at 487, while others insisted that the local currency will not go less than 490 to a dollar, the same rate it was exchanged on Tuesday and some parts of the country ion Wednesday.
“You know the dollar is scarce and it may likely go up over today’s rate when comes back for it tomorrow. If you don’t even want to buy from me, you check from other people, you will confirm that 489 per dollar is the best rate you will find in the market because that is the best market price you can find today,” a dealer said.
Another parallel market operator asked our correspondent the amount dollar he was willing to buy before he could give a rate, but when he learnt that the volume is not up to $1000, he insisted that the naira cannot go less than 490 against the greenback.
But the naira on Wednesday appreciated by N3 to close at N487 per US dollar, against N490 to a dollar it exchanged when the foreign exchange market closed for the first trading day on Tuesday after it was traded for 495 per dollar at the parallel market last Friday when the foreign exchange market closed for the week.
The local currency had maintained rate at N485 against the dollar for about two weeks but fell on Friday to N495 at the parallel market, as the Greenberg scarcity worsened ahead of the New Year celebration.
The local currency, however, traded flat at the official interbank window and on the parallel market on the first trading day of the year, while stocks fell almost one percent in trading dominated by losses in petroleum, banking, and brewery shares.
The naira closed at 305 a dollar on the official window, the same rate it closed at on the last working day of 2016. The currency initially traded at 315.50 to the dollar but gained after the central bank sold $1.5 million in the market.
On the parallel market, the naira maintained the trading rate at 490 to the dollar, the same price it was sold on Monday.