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Naira Gains for Second Day on Bank, Oil Industry Dollar Sales

Nigeria’s naira appreciated for a second day as the central bank sold dollars and on increased inflows of the U.S. currency from the oil industry.

The currency of Africa’s largest oil producer gained 0.1 percent to 157.45 per dollar by 3:15 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital, its strongest since Feb. 23, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Nigeria sold $150 million at a foreign-currency auction today, 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, was 156.01 naira, unchanged from the previous sale on March 5, it said.

“Dealers expect the naira to appreciate as foreign exchange liquidity is boosted by oil company dollar sales,” analysts at Lagos-based Diamond Bank said in e-mailed note to clients today.

The central bank offers dollars at auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays to maintain exchange rate stability. The oil industry is the second-largest supplier of the U.S. currency after the central bank.

The auction allowed the naira to appreciate, Usman Onoja, chief executive of Lagos-based Lovonus Bureau De Change Ltd., said by phone today. “The level of sales by the central bank will largely determine the value of the naira.”

Ghana’s cedi weakened by less than 0.1 percent to 1.7118 per dollar, as of 3:17 p.m. in Accra, the nation’s capital.

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