Naira appreciates at N493 to dollar in parallel market

The naira Thursday reversed its two weeks loss to the dollar in the parallel market, appreciating by N20 to N470 per dollar.

The naira, on Thursday, appreciated by 1.8 percent to N493 to a dollar at the parallel market as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) increased forex supplies to banks.

The local currency, which opened at N502 per dollar, gained N17 to N485 during midday trading before closing at N493/$1, according to data on abokiFX.com, a website that collates parallel rates in Lagos.

It also appreciated against the pound sterling to close at N710 and N600, gaining N3 and N6, respectively, on the street.

At the importer and exporter (I&E) window, it appreciated 0.13 percent to close at N411.50 to the dollar.

Last week, Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, met with bank CEOs and agreed to increase the amount of foreign exchange allocated to banks to meet legitimate needs.

Emefiele cautioned them to ensure that there is available forex and pass the information on all their platforms.

In the last few days, banks have complied with the directive over the availability of forex to eligible and legitimate customers.

In various email communications seen by newsmen, Union Bank, UBA, Polaris informed their customers of the availability of forex.

Meanwhile, the country’s external reserves dipped by $37.6 million in the last week. According to the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria, it fell from $33.97 billion to $33.82 billion. On year-to-date, it declined by $1.82 billion.

At the end of the monetary policy committee meeting, Emefiele had said that the decline “reflects sales to the foreign exchange market and third-party payments”.

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