Naira steadies against major currencies as FX market is lifted by $210m

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…NAFEX records $334.3m transactions turnover

Despite lifting various segments of the official foreign exchange market by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday, with fresh injection of $210 million, the Naira, on Tuesday, remained steadied against major foreign currencies, across forex markets and segments.

For instance, the local currency, as of close of Tuesday trading activities settled at an unchanged rate of 305.70 per dollar, the same amount exchanged on Monday, but lower than N305.65 it closed on Friday at the official forex market.

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Also, at the parallel market, the Nigerian currency, stood steadied at N364 to the dollar, the same price it has been selling since last Tuesday, following a depreciated closing rate of N365 sold the previous day.

But the Naira appreciated against the Pound sterling to close at N505 compared to N510 traded on Monday but declined further against the Euro with a new closing rate of N448 against N446 sold the previous day, but weaker than N505 and N445 sold respectively over the weekend at the unofficial forex market.

At the Investors and Exporters (I&E) foreign exchange window, the Naira, declared no significant difference from what recorded on Monday as trading began at N359.91 to the Greenback, which was slightly better than N360 seen on Monday before traded high at 361.50, but eventually closed at 360.39 compared to 360.37 exchanged on the first trading day of the week.

Meanwhile, the apex bank, on Monday, injected fresh $210m into various segments of the inter-bank foreign exchange market, after the sum of $304.4 million Retail Secondary Market Intervention sales in the inter-bank forex market on Friday.

At Monday’s trading, the CBN offered the sum of $100m as wholesale interventions and allocated the sum of $55m to the Small and Medium Enterprises forex window.

Customers requiring forex for Business/Personal Travel Allowances, tuition and medical fees, among others, equally got an allocation of $55m.

The Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, confirmed the sales, reiterating that the bank would sustain its interventions in the foreign exchange market.

He expressed optimism that the value of the naira would continue to spike in the face of accretion to the foreign reserves and the attendant reduction in the country’s import bill.

While also attributing the stability in the market to the bank’s transparency and cooperation of authorised dealers, he urged all dealers to continue to play by the rule, as the CBN would not hesitate to sanction any erring bank or dealer.

Friday’s sales were in favour of interests in the agricultural, airlines, petroleum products, raw materials and machinery sectors.

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