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Naira weakens on dollar demand

Naira weakened slightly on the interbank market to 151.80 to the U.S dollar on Wednesday as the central bank failed to meet demand for the dollar at its bi-weekly auction, traders said.

The central bank sold $300 million at 149.47 to the dollar, less than the $350.49 million demanded at Wednesday’s forex auction. It had sold $300 million at 149.41 a dollar at its last auction on Monday, while interbank rate was 151.75.

Traders said the inability of the central bank to meet demand at its latest auction had caused the naira to depreciate.

“We hope to see the naira gradually appreciating against the dollar in the coming days because of the anticipated dollar sales by the NNPC and some other oil major early next week,” one dealer said.

Chevron and Mobil earlier on Tuesday sold about $67 million to some lenders at the interbank market which firmed the local currency to 151.75 naira against the dollar from 152.0, before Wednesday’s auction, traders said.


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