Lagos - The acute scarcity of foreign exchange, especially the dollar, continued on Wednesday with the naira closing at 372 against the United States currency at the parallel forex market.
Forex dealers linked the persistent fall of the naira to panic buying of the dollar and other major international currencies by importers, individuals and businessmen.
With the naira exchanging at 372 to the dollar, the local currency has lost 20 per cent of its value at the parallel market in the last 10 days.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has, however, left its official rate unchanged at N197 to the dollar at the interbank window.
Also read: Naira slips further to N352/dollar
The naira, which hit a record low of 352 against the greenback on Tuesday, had closed at 345 on Monday.
On Friday, the local currency fell to 338 against the US currency, a day after the Bankers’ Committee expressed concern over the mounting foreign exchange bills for school fees and medical bill payment.
The naira, which has been on a free fall in the past few weeks, fell steadily at the parallel market from 310 last Monday to 335 last Thursday.
Equities stocks fell almost by two per cent on Wednesday, hit by a major decline in cement companies’ shares, including Dangote Cement, which accounts for the third of local bourse capitalisation, Reuters reported.
The local bourse index dropped by 1.81 per cent to 24,070 points as investors took profits from previous gains on the stocks.
- News 24