NAIRA APPRECIATES ON INCREASED DOLLAR SALES
The naira firmed to N151.30 to the United States dollar on Wednesday from 151.60 at Tuesday's close after the Central Bank of Nigeria met all demand at its foreign exchange auction, traders said.
Reuters reported from Lagos on Wednesday that the central bank sold all the $394.80m demanded at N149.06 to the dollar. The regulator had sold $400m at N149.29 at its previous auction on Monday, short of the $548m demanded.
'The CBN has shown its willingness to defend the naira with the supply of $400m at Monday and Wednesday's auctions, which has calmed the market,' one dealer said.
Traders said Mobil Oil sold about $31m to some lenders on Tuesday, while the local unit of Royal Dutch Shell sold an unspecified amount of dollars on Wednesday, boosting dollar supply and helping support the naira.
'We expect the naira to trade around this same level until the next forex auction on Monday because the central bank has taken out the backlog of demand, while more energy firms should be selling dollars in the days ahead,' another dealer said.