Naira Withstands Pressure, Appreciates at Most Market Segments

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By Dipo Olowookere

It was a sterling performance for the Naira against the United States Dollar at the foreign exchange (forex) market last week.

This was despite huge pressure the local currency came under in the build up to the rescheduled presidential and parliamentary elections, which took place on Saturday, February 23, 2019.

At the Investors & Exporters (I&E) forex window, the local currency appreciated by 0.04 percent to close at N361.49 to a Dollar.

Also, the Naira Dollar exchange rate at improved by 0.04 percent to close at N356.97/$ amid weekly injections of $210 million by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) into the foreign exchange market via the Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS).

A breakdown of this intervention showed that $100 million was allocated to Wholesale SMIS, $55 million was allocated to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises and another $55 million was sold for invisibles.

According to Cowry Asset, at the parallel market and Bureau De Change (BDC) market segments last week, Naira appreciated by 0.55 percent and 0.56 percent to close at N360/$ and N357/$ respectively.

Meanwhile, the Naira/Dollar exchange rate sustained gains for most of the foreign exchange forward contracts – 1 month, 2 months and 3 months rates moderated by 0.16 percent, 0.16 percent and 0.06 percent respectively to close at N364.07/$, N367.06/$ and N370.47/$ respectively.

However, the Naira/Dollar exchange rate performance badly for spot rate and 12 months forward contracts, declining by 0.02 percent and 0.03 percent to close at N306.80/$ and N412.66/$ respectively.

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