Naira Appreicates Against Pound, Euro, At Parallel Market

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Nigerian Central Bank, Abuja, Nigeria.

The Nigerian currency on Thursday extended its gains against Pound Sterling and Euro, but remained unchanged at ₦365 to the dollar and ₦422 to the euro at the parallel market.

The Naira as at close of yesterday, trading activities exchanged at ₦485 to a pound against 493 traded a day earlier, indicating an appreciable figure of ₦7, and as well gained a total 10 points against the Euro, while compared Thursday’s closing rate of ₦425 to ₦435 sold on Wednesday, at the unofficial foreign exchange market.

The local currency, however, maintained appreciable rate of ₦305.80 per dollar at the official inter-bank forex market.

The Naira, also appreciated at the Importer and Exporter FX widow, otherwise known as Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange (NAFEX) widow, with an opening rate of ₦359.66 per dollar against Wednesday’s ₦359.72. It then, closed at ₦360.00 compared to 360.05 traded the previous day.

This is just as the NAFEX, recorded a total daily turnover of $299.94 million stronger than $250.29 million sold on Wednesday, and also better than $238.98 million  declared on Tuesday, but weaker than $363.63 million exchanged on the first trading day of the week.

Although, the autonomous forex window, had opened mid-week trading at ₦359.72 stronger than ₦359.89 to the dollar on Tuesday, and also stronger at 360.05 compared to 360.31 a day before and Monday ₦360.39.

Meanwhile, the nation’s external reserves have recorded a whopping sum of $32.16 billion as at September 22, 2017, indicating a total gain of $7.41 billion in the last 12 months, statistics obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed.

The latest apex bank statistics showed that as at September 22, 2016, the external reserves stood at $24.75 billion, against the current $32.16 billion, hence, representing an appreciation of over $7 billion in just one year.

However, the reserves figure was seen at $31.8 billion a month ago, exactly August 28, 2017, but strengthened by $361.6 million within one month to record new figure of $32.16 billion, therefore, representing the highest balance since January 2015.

Although, the external reserve has staged a rebound since early 2017 after hitting a post-election low of about $23.6billion back in October 31, 2016 (using adjusted data). The external reserves dropped below $30 billion in February, 2015, just before the 2015 General Elections.

Since then, it’s been downhill as Nigeria grappled with a combination of drop in crude oil prices, incessant militant attacks and a massive capital flight.

Although the apex bank did not mention reason(s) for increased external reserves but the growth tend to come from increased global oil prices and inflow from International Money Transfer Operations.

The price of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket of 14 countries stood at $56.43 per barrel on Tuesday. Hitting $32 billion, the highest in 2017, the external reserves have gained $6.3 billion or 24 per cent from $25.8 billion; it opened this year; and it has gained 1.05 per cent, as at September 21, 2017.

Between January and August, the foreign exchange buffer of the CBN has appreciated by estimated $5.97billion from $25.8 billion it opened this year despite the CBN’s unrelenting intervention in the foreign exchange market.

Experts had said steady increase in global oil prices continued to impact on the CBN’s foreign exchange buffer and the nation’s economy at large.