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Naira plunges to 440 as dollar inflow drops

26 September 2016, 19:01

Abuja - The naira was sold at the parallel market for 440 per dollar on Sunday, as the lingering foreign exchange scarcity increased to a new level, Punch reports.

The local currency, which closed at 436/dollar on Thursday, eased to 435 in the early hours of Friday. It closed at 439/dollar.

 The naira had closed at 428 to the greenback on Wednesday, down from 424 on Tuesday, as lingering foreign exchange shortage weighed on the economy.

The latest declines in the naira value started on Wednesday, a day after the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee retained the benchmark lending rate at 14 per cent.

The MPC had after its two-day bi-monthly meeting left the Monetary Policy Rate unchanged, rebuffing calls for rates cut by analysts, stakeholders and some government officials, including the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.

However, economic and currency analysts have said the decline in the value of the local currency against the dollar has nothing to do with the MPC decision.

At the interbank market, the naira closed at 307.79 on Friday. It closed at 307.25, 311 and 312 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively, according to data posted on the FMDQ OTC platform.

The continued scarcity of foreign exchange earlier in the month pushed the naira to an all-time-low of 420 against the United States dollar at the parallel market according to News24.

The currency hit its record low the same day that data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the economy was in recession.

The naira has continued to weaken in the parallel market, defying attempts by monetary authorities to reverse its slide.

- News 24


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