Naira settles at N321.50 against dollar at interbank market

The naira on Thursday weakened further against the United States dollar at the interbank market as it closed at a spot rate of N321.50 compared to Wednesday’s close of N314.14 to the dollar.

This was after attaining an all-time low of N365.25 to the dollar in an initial single interbank market trade of $1 million.

Traders said interbank trading started two hours after the market opened and offered the currency sharply lower against the dollar, and trading a total of $13 million before the close of market.

Traders said the fall comes amidst tight dollar supply.

The CBN rose from its bankers committee meeting on Tuesday and announced the increase in weekly forex sales to Bureau De Change (BDCs) from N30, 000 to N50, 000 dollars.

In the same vein, the Nigerian currency was relatively stable as it exchanged for N394 to the dollar at the parallel market; while it traded at N505 and N440 against the Pound Sterling and the Euro, respectively.

At the BDC segment of the market, the naira exchanged at N393, N504 and N437 to the dollar, Pound Sterling and the Euro respectively.

Nigeria ditched its 16-month-old peg of N197 to the dollar to also lure back foreign investors who fled both the equities and bond markets in the wake of the plunge in crude prices.

Investors have welcomed the removal of currency controls but many are still steering clear until Africa’s biggest economy shows signs of a concrete recovery.

CBN has also been mopping up naira liquidity to shore up debt yields.

But the lack of dollar liquidity has curbed interbank activity, leaving the central bank as the main supplier of dollars.