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Naira slumps to N545/$ at black market as hoarding and speculative buying intensifies

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Naira slumps to N545/$ at black market as hoarding and speculative buying intensifies

Friday, 10th September 2021: The exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar closed at N412/$1, at the official Investors and Exporters window.

Naira depreciated further against the US dollar on Friday, to close at N412/$1 as against the N411.67/$1 recorded at the close of trade on Thursday, 9th September 2021, representing a 0.08% drop.

The exchange rate at the parallel market slumped to an all-time low on Friday to close at N545/$1 compared to N535/$1 recorded in the previous trading session.

This represents a 0.93% depreciation and further widens the gap between the black market rate and the official rate. The slump at the black market comes on the heels of increased forex demand pressure and a sharp decline in dollar supply.

Individuals and businesses have to rely on the black market for their foreign exchange requirements because the banks appear to be rationing dollars. The apex bank’s plan to curtail the illegal market by banning sales to money traders and reprimanding people who profit from the arbitrage, seems not to be working and dealers are speculating the currency will weaken further.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had earlier stated that it is closely monitoring the forex transactions of banks operating in the country and warned them against all forms of malpractices threatening that those found culpable would have their foreign exchange operating licenses suspended for at least a year.

Trading at the official NAFEX window

The exchange rate depreciated against the US dollar on Friday 10th September 2021 to close at N412 to a dollar, representing a 33 kobo drop compared to N411.67/$1 recorded in the previous trading day.

The opening indicative rate closed at N411.25/$1, an 18 kobo gain when compared to N411.43/$1 recorded on Thursday, 9th September 2021.

An exchange rate of N413 to a dollar was the highest rate recorded during intra-day trading before it settled at N412/$1, while it sold for as low as N400/$1 during intra-day trading.

Meanwhile, forex turnover at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window dropped by 22.9% on Friday, 10th September 2021. According to data tracked from FMDQ, forex turnover declined from $114.68 million recorded on Thursday to $88.39 million on Friday 10th September 2021.

Cryptocurrency watch

Cryptocurrency prices continue to be in a mix of green and red on September 13. The global cryptocurrency market cap is $2.08 trillion, a 1.40% increase over the last day, while the total crypto market volume over the last 24 hours is $108.76 billion, which makes a 1.84% decrease.

The world’s largest and most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was down by 1.52% to trade at $44,684.83 early on Monday morning after rising by 0.57% on Saturday. The near-term bullish trend remained intact, in spite of the latest return to $43,000 levels.

The second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Ethereum dropped by 1.95% to trade at $3,260.84 early on Monday, while In the same vein, XRP was down by 1.31% to trade at $1.07. The Chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa has hit on the risk associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to the world economy.

According to him, many criminals now play significant roles in crypto-currency markets, adding that virtual currencies had become their preferred medium of exchange. Crude oil price Crude oil prices went up with Brent crude rising by 0.45% to trade at $73.25 per barrel after a run of 3 weekly gains as investors tracked the slow restoration of supplies in the Gulf of Mexico and the outlook for demand and inventories over the fourth quarter.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded towards the $70 per barrel mark after rallying 2.3% on Friday, pushing the U.S. benchmark to a slight gain for the week. More than 2 weeks since Hurricane Ida slammed into the key producing region, almost half of crude output in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is yet to recommence, according to the latest tally from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Oil has pushed higher in recent weeks with investors assessing the fallout from the storm and the recovery in demand from the coronavirus pandemic.

The move higher has come even as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies stick with a plan to restore output, and China confirmed an unprecedented release of crude from its stockpiles.

The WTI rose by 0.46% to trade at $70.04 per barrel, the Nigerian headline crude, Bonny Light dropped by 0.04% to trade at $71.30%. However, OPEC Basket was up by 0.88% to trade at $71.82, while Natural Gas declined by 0.38% to trade at $4,919.

External reserve

Nigeria’s foreign reserve rose by $80 million to close at $34.779 billion on Thursday, 9th September 2021, compared to $34.699 billion recorded as of the previous day. The latest increase represents a 0.23% boost in the country’s foreign reserve.

The reserve has now gained $761.56 million in the month of September, reducing the year-to-date loss to about $591 million compared to $35.37 billion recorded as of 31st December 2020.

Meanwhile, recent reports have suggested that Nigeria’s foreign reserve position could grow as high as $40 billion by the end of September 2021, the recorded growth in the country’s foreign reserve position could be a positive step towards hitting the projected target.

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