Nigeria’s naira capped its biggest three-day retreat in a month as importer demand for dollars was said to increase on reduced oil company foreign-exchange sales in the interbank market.
The currency of Africa’s biggest oil producer slipped less than 0.1 percent to 157.875 a dollar by 4:22 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital. The naira has slipped 0.5 percent in the past three days, the worst performance since Oct. 9, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“The weaker naira is attributed to increased importer dollar demand,” Leon Myburgh and Coura Fall, sub-Saharan Africa strategists at Citigroup Inc. in Johannesburg, wrote in an e- mailed note to clients today. “Oil companies have also not been present selling dollars.”
Oil-producing companies, which sell dollars to meet domestic expenses, are the second-biggest source of foreign currency after the central bank, which sells dollars on Mondays and Wednesdays to keep the naira within a 3 percent band around 155 per dollar.
The Abuja-based Central Bank of Nigeria sold $150 million at its foreign currency auction yesterday, it said in an e- mailed statement. The regulator sold $79.9 million at its two scheduled auctions last week, the lowest since December 2009, according to data on the its website.
The yield on the 16.39 percent naira debt due January 2022 rose nine basis points to 12.74 percent, according to yesterday’s prices compiled by the Lagos-based Financial Markets Dealers Association. Borrowing costs on the nation’s $500 million of Eurobonds due January 2021 declined two basis points to 4.4 percent today.
Ghana’s cedi gained less than 0.1 percent to 1.8766 a dollar in Accra, the capital.
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