Naira at Record Low After Delays in National eEections

The naira currency opened at record low on Monday on thin trading as the interbank markets digested the news that Nigeria would delay its presidential election for six weeks due to an Islamist insurgency in the north, dealers said.
The naira opened at a record low of N194.75 to the dollar, and quickly fell 1.1 percent to N196.05, compared with its previous close of N193.90 on Friday.
Nigeria’s electoral commission said late of Saturday it would postpone the Feb. 14 presidential election until March 28 due to security concerns. 
Last week, the naira depreciated by 337bps against the US Dollar to close at N193.93 at the inter-bank currency market. Despite oil prices showing signals of rebounding, and the CBN intervening in the currency market (with the latest being the direct sales of $30,000 to the Bureau de Change (BDC) operators on Friday), the pressure on the local currency persisted. At this week’s Retail Dutch Auction System (RDAS) auctions, the CBN offered US$400million and sold $398.7million at a marginal rate of N168/$. Against the Pound, the local currency fell by 1.5bps but gained 0.2bps versus the Euro to trade at N281.94/£ and N222.04/€ respectively.

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