Nigerian naira flat, oil firm dollar sales support

160912F_Naira-notesNigeria’s naira closed broadly flat against the U.S dollar on the interbank market on Monday as two multinational oil companies sold about $107 million to some lenders.

The unit ended flat at 161.48 naira to the greenback on the interbank, after weakening to 162 naira during intra-day trade. It closed at 161.45 naira on Friday.

Traders said the local unit of Exxon Mobil sold $72.2 million, while Italian oil firm Eni’s Nigerian unit sold $35 million.

Strong demand for the U.S. dollar has continued to mount pressure on the naira despite measures by the central bank to tighten liquidity in the banking system to curb speculation and prop up the local currency.

At a forex auction on Monday, the central bank sold $300 million at 155.76 naira to the dollar, compared with $290.5 million it sold the same rate at Wednesday’s auction.

Dealers say the naira may ease to the 162 mark against the greenback this week unless more oil firms sell the hard currency as part of their month-end dollar sale.

 

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

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