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By NBF News
Listen to article The naira further firmed yesterday at the interbank despite demands for dollars by importers and businesses.

The naira which gained value on Tuesday to sell at 156.75 to a dollar further firmed to 156.40 at the interbank market yesterday.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which resumed dollar sales on Monday sold $100 million at Wednesday's auction at 155.77 to the dollar.

Although the value of the naira had started out yesterday on a good note at 156.01 to the dollar, it weakened in the course of the day to 156.40 at the close of business.

'Demand for dollars increased this morning at its opening price of about 156.10 per dollar as dealers speculated they can't get it at a better exchange rate this week. There is pressure on naira as companies commenced activities fully for the year, boosting dollar demand,' the Chief Executive of Valuechain Investment Limited, Tunde Ladipo, noted.

The CBN had earlier noted that that fuel imports have been a source of pressure on the naira. The apex bank had left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 12 per cent last year to control inflation and stabilise the naira. Nigeria's inflation rate rose for a second month in November to 12.3 per cent from 11.7 per cent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said.

The rate on the nation's 10-year naira debt rose 13 basis points to 11.41 per cent, according to yesterday's prices compiled and pasted on the Financial Markets Dealers Association (FMDA) website. Yields on the country's $500 million of Eurobonds due January 2021, rose three basis points to 3.813 per cent.