Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Naira Weakens On Importers' Demand

The naira eased against the dollar at the foreign exchange market yesterday as demand for the foreign currency by importers favoured the dollar.

Naira which sold for 157.95 to the dollar on Tuesday weakened against the U.S. dollar on the interbank market yesterday to 158.05.

Dollar sales by a unit of Shell which was expected to meet dollar demand at the market came after the market was shut and too late to make impact.

Dealers said Shell sold an undisclosed amount of dollars yesterday but it did not hit the market before it closed.

"We hope to see positive reaction to the dollar sale by Shell today in the market, provided the amount is significant,"one dealer said.

The naira has been hovering around 157-158 level in the last two weeks, owing to dollar sales by the state oil company, multinational oil firms and inflows from offshore investors buying local debt.

At the bi-weekly foreign exchange market, the central bank sold $200 million at 155.78 naira to the dollar, the same amount and price at the last auction on Monday.

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