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Nigeria Naira Rises 1st Day in Five on Dollar Sales Speculation

December 01, 2011

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s naira erased declines against the dollar, gaining for the first day in five on speculation the central bank sold the U.S. currency.

The currency of Africa’s biggest oil producer appreciated 0.1 percent to 161.15 per dollar in interbank trading at 3:34 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital, after depreciating as much as 0.2 percent earlier.

“The central bank intervened with dollar sales of an undisclosed amount to some banks this afternoon,” Tunde Ladipo, chief executive officer of Lagos-based Valuechain Investment Ltd., which trades currencies, said by phone today. The “naira appreciated immediately news about the dollar sales spread,”he said.

Nigeria sold $200 million at a foreign-currency auction yesterday, the same amount demanded by lenders, according to an e-mailed statement from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The marginal rate, which is also used as the prevailing exchange rate, strengthened 0.6 percent to 156.31 per dollar.

Muhammed Abdullahi, a spokesman for the central bank in Abuja was not available for comment on the dollar sales when called on his official telephone today.

The central bank on Nov. 21 lowered the midpoint of its exchange-rate band at its twice-weekly auctions to 155 naira per dollar from 150 naira, amid pressure from rising imports and concern about weakening oil prices, the source of more than 95 percent of Nigeria’s foreign-exchange income.

Ghana’s cedi appreciated for the second day, adding 1.1 percent to 1.6465 per dollar by 2:37 p.m. in Accra, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

--Editors: Linda Shen, Dulue Mbachu

To contact the reporter on this story: Emele Onu in Johannesburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at

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