• Sunday, March 03, 2024
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BusinessDay

Naira falls as dollar supply drops by 6.13%

Naira fell against the dollar at the official market following a drop in foreign exchange (FX) sales by banks on Thursday.

Dollars sold by banks and willing buyers and willing sellers decreased by 6.13 percent to $321.23 million on Thursday from $342.22 million recorded on Wednesday.

After trading on Thursday, naira depreciated by 4.10 percent as the dollar was quoted at N1,479.47, weaker than N1,418.78 quoted on Wednesday at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), data from the FMDQ indicated.

Intraday high closed at N1,504 per dollar, on Thursday stronger than N1,510 on Wednesday. Intraday low weakened to N946.82 per dollar as against N896.28/$1 closed on Wednesday.

At the money market on Thursday, the Nigerian Treasury Bills (NT-Bills) secondary market concluded on a negative note, witnessing a surge in average yields across the curve, a report from FSDH research stated.

According to the report, the average yield surged by 261 basis points (bps) to reach 14.99 percent, compared to the previous day’s 12.38 percent. Notably, short-term and medium-term maturities experienced significant expansions of 572 bps and 509 bps, respectively, while long-term maturities saw a slight decline of 11 bps. Heavy selling pressure was observed on the NTB for March 7, 2024 maturity bill (+634 bps), contrasting with buying interest noted on the NTB for August 8, 2024 (-53 bps).

In tandem with market activities, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) conducted its scheduled Primary Market Auction on February 7, offloading NT-Bills valued at N1,000.00 billion across varying tenors.

Despite the higher stop rates, the auction witnessed robust demand, with a 98 percent oversubscription. The bid-to-cover ratios settled at 0.20x (91-day), 0.38x (182-day), and 3.11x (364-day), signaling strong investor appetite.

Meanwhile, the Open Market Operations (OMO) bills market wrapped up with a slight positive sentiment, as the average yield across the curve dipped by 1 basis point to close at 10.07 percent. The long-term maturities also saw a marginal decline of 1 basis point, with mild buying interest noted on the OMO 10-December 2024 maturity bill.

These developments underscore the dynamic nature of Nigeria’s debt market, with investors closely monitoring fluctuations in yields amid evolving economic conditions.