CBN Begins Gradual Defense of Naira, Hikes Supply to $300mn * Oil Firms Supports with $107 man

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may have started a systemic defense of the local currency when Iy hike it’s supply to the Whole Dutch Auction System (WDAS) to $300 million Monday.
It sold $290.5 million last week Wednesday. Earlier in the year the apex bank was supplying as low as $150 million.
Naira yesterday, closed broadly flat against the dollar on the interbank market as two multinational oil firms sold about $107 million to some lenders.
Bloomberg report said the unit ended flat at N161.48 to the greenback on the interbank, after weakening to 162 naira during intra-day trade. It closed at N161.45 on Friday.
Traders said the local unit of Exxon Mobil sold $72.2 million, while Italian oil firm Eni’s Nigerian unit sold $35 million.
Strong demand for the dollar has continued to mount pressure on the naira despite measures by the central bank to tighten liquidity in the banking system to curb speculation and prop up the local currency.
At a forex auction held yesterday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold $300 million at N155.76 to the dollar compared with $290.5 million it sold the same rate at Wednesday’s auction. Dealers say the naira may ease to the N162 mark against the greenback this week unless more oil firms sell the hard currency as part of their month-end dollar sale.

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