Bloomberg News

Naira Falls for Second Day as Europe Debt Crisis Limits Inflows

May 30, 2012

Nigeria’s naira depreciated against the dollar as higher Spanish and Italian borrowing costs suggested the euro region debt crisis is deepening, prompting some foreign investors to sell riskier assets.

The currency of Africa’s biggest oil producer weakened 0.3 percent to 159.7250 per dollar as of 2:05 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital, its biggest decline on a closing basis since May 25, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The market is still witnessing a sell-off of securities, some motivated by the Eurozone crisis and some by inflation concern,” Sewa Wusu, a currency analyst at Lagos-based Sterling Capital Ltd., said by phone.

Emerging-market stocks fell for the first time in five days as Spanish and Italian borrowing costs rose. Greece will hold an election next month that may determine whether it meets bailout conditions and remains in the euro. Nigerian inflation accelerated to 12.9 percent in April, the fastest since October 2010, from 12.1 percent in March, the National Bureau of Statistics said May 15.

The Central Bank of Nigeria sold $250 million at a foreign- currency auction on May 28, the highest since Feb. 15 sales. The regulator will hold the second of its twice-weekly foreign currency auction today.

The central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 12 percent for a fourth consecutive meeting on May 22 to bolster the currency and curb inflation.

The yield on Nigeria’s domestic bonds due 2015 rose four basis points to 15.27 percent, according to the May 28 data on the Financial Markets Dealers Association website. Yields on the Eurobonds due 2021 were unchanged at 5.659 percent in London.

Ghana’s cedi depreciated 0.5 percent to 1.9020 per dollar, in Accra, the capital.

To contact the reporter on this story: Emele Onu in Lagos at eonu1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net


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