Naira appreciates to N361/$ at parallel market as CBN injects $210m, first in 2019

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Following the Central Bank of Nigeria first intervention in the foreign exchange in 2019, the Naira a appreciated by 0.83 per cent to N361 against the dollar in the parallel market, but depreciated by 0.23per cent to N365.35 in the Investors &Exporters foreign exchange window.

A total turnover at the Investors &Exporters foreign exchange window window moderated by 1.9per cent to $479.34 million with 99.95per cent of trades executed within the N360-369/dollar band.

Meanwhile, the apex bank last week in the inter-bank sector of the foreign exchange market injected a total sum of $210 million into the wholesale segment and other sectors of the market.

A breakdown of the figures obtained from the CBN showed that customers in the Wholesale sector of the market received the sum of $100 million with the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles sectors each getting $55 million to meet the needs of customers.

The Bank’s Director in charge of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said the CBN continued from where it stopped in 2018 in order to maintain the stability being enjoyed in the market.

While noting that the Bank had made commendable effort in keeping the exchange rates at the current levels, Okorafor reechoed the Bank’s Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele saying that the current capital flow reversals from the emerging markets were expected to bring out pressures on the market rates.

He, however, assured that, in spite of the anticipated pressures, coupled with the forthcoming elections, the Bank was committed to maintaining the current exchange rate policy, given the level of reserves.

Quoting the Governor, Okorafor said that the CBN was determined to sustain a stable exchange rate as it continues to put in place relevant measures to shore up the country’s reserves.

Meanwhile, one dollar exchanged for N357 in the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the market last week.

Analysts at Cordros capital said, “Stability remains our theme for the currency, as higher oil revenues (despite the recent plunge in oil price) continue to help shore up the reserves, thereby supporting the CBN’s continued intervention.”

Activities in the Treasury bills market were bearish, albeit with a bearish tilt, as market players sold off on the back of the CBNs frequent OMO auctions.

As a result, yields rose two basis points on average, w/w, to close at 15.40per cent.

Sell pressure was concentrated at the short (+four basis points) end of the curve, following a selloff of the 76DTM (+117 basis points) bill.

Conversely, yields contracted across the mid (-15 basis points) and long (-1 basis point) segments, driven by demand for the 118DTM (-77 basis points) and 195DTM (-74 basis points) bills, respectively.

At last week’s primary action, the CBN fully allotted N74.84 billion worth of bills – N10.00 billion of the 91-day, N20.00 billion of the 182-day and N44.84 billion of the 364-day – at respective stop rates of 10.899per cent (previously 10.90per cent), 13.10per cent (same as previous auction), and 14.50per cent (previously 14.45per cent).

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