Lagos - The Nigerian naira eased against the greenback on the interbank market on Monday as expected dollar sales by some foreign oil companies failed to materialise, exerting pressure on the local currency, traders said.
The naira closed at 158.30 to the dollar at the interbank, weaker than Friday's close of 158.10 naira, Reuters reports.
Foreign oil companies operating in Nigeria normally sell hard currency to local lenders to buy naira to meet their month-end obligations. Traders had expected the month-end cycle to begin but said none of the oil firms sold dollars on Monday.
At a foreign exchange auction, the central bank sold $371.7 million at 155.74 naira to the dollar on Monday, after offering $400 million, compared with $300 million it auctioned at the same rate at last Wednesday's auction.
"The market was a bit quiet today until... there was a bit of dollar buying by some banks covering client positions," another dealer said.
Traders expect month-end dollar sales from oil companies to start trickling in this week, which should keep the local currency within the range of 158-158.50 naira