Nigeria’s Naira Weakens for Second Day, Reversing Earlier Gains

Nigeria’s naira declined against the dollar for a second day, reversing an earlier advance, after demand for the U.S. currency increased.

The currency of Africa’s biggest oil producer fell less than 0.1 percent to 157.8 per dollar as of 2:36 p.m. on the interbank market in Lagos, the commercial capital, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It appreciated as much as 0.4 percent.

Nigeria sold $150 million at a foreign-currency auction yesterday, with lenders buying the entire amount on offer, the Abuja-based Central Bank of Nigeria said in an e-mailed statement. The marginal rate, which is also used as the prevailing exchange rate depreciated 0.1 percent to 156.01 naira, compared with 155.90 at the previous sale on Feb. 29.

“The naira will remain under pressure from a structural imbalance between local dollar supply and demand,” Ecobank Transnational Inc. analysts, led by Paul-Harry Aithnard, wrote in a note to clients today.

The central bank sells U.S. dollars at twice-weekly auctions and through interbank trading to maintain exchange-rate stability. Fuel imports have been a source of pressure on Nigeria’s foreign-currency market, central bank Deputy Governor Tunde Lemo told a committee at a public hearing on Feb. 7.

The West African country imports 70 percent of its oil products due to a lack of adequate refining capacity, according to the Petroleum Ministry

Ghana’s cedi snapped four days of declines, advancing 0.3 percent to 1.709 per dollar in Accra, the nation’s capital.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Kay in Abuja at ckay5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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