Nigeria’s Naira Reaches 4-Month Low on Debt Sales: Lagos Mover

Nigeria’s naira fell for a second day against the dollar, heading for the lowest in more than four months, as foreign investors were said to sell local currency-denominated debt.

The currency of Africa’s biggest oil producer retreated 0.4 percent to 161.275 per dollar as of 3:23 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the lowest since Jan. 30 on a closing basis.

Emerging-market stocks fell, dragging the benchmark index to a six-month low, after China’s non-manufacturing sector grew at a slowest pace in more than a year and the U.S. added fewer jobs than economists forecast. Nigeria’s economic growth slowed to 6.17 percent in the first quarter, from 7.13 percent a year earlier, the nation’s statistics agency said May 22.

“Foreign investor demand for the greenback amid reports they are cutting long T-bill positions have contributed to the weakness,” Leon Myburgh and Coura Fall, Africa strategists at Citigroup Inc. in Johannesburg, wrote in an e-mailed note to clients today.

Nigeria sold $300 million at a foreign-currency auction today, the most at a single sale since February, with lenders buying the entire amount on sale, 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 155.80 naira, compared with 155.75 naira at the previous auction on May 30.

“The naira has come under renewed pressure in the interbank market owing to a sustained mismatch between the supply and demand of U.S. dollars,” Celeste Fauconnier and Nema Ramkhelawan-Bhana, strategists at Rand Merchant Bank, wrote in a report today.

The yield on Nigeria’s domestic bonds due 2018 rose six basis points to 15.53 percent, according to the June 1 data on the Financial Markets Dealers Association website. Yields on the nation’s $500 million of Eurobonds due 2021 gained 18 basis points to 5.9441 percent.

Ghana’s cedi depreciated less than 0.1 percent to 1.893 per dollar, in Accra, the capital.

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