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Naira Caps Biggest Weekly Advance vs Dollar in 10 Months

Nigeria’s naira strengthened in its biggest weekly advance in 10 months, as the central bank was said to sell dollars to lenders to support the currency of Africa’s second-biggest economy.

The naira increased 1 percent to 159.45 per dollar by 4:07 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital, extending gains this week to 2 percent, the best five-day advance since the week through Aug. 10, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency recorded its first weekly rise in four.

“The central bank has sold dollars directly to some banks to support the naira,” Sam Ocheho, a currency trader at Stanbic IBTC Holding Co., said by phone today. Ugochukwu Okoroafor, a spokesman for the Abuja-based Central Bank of Nigeria, couldn’t immediately comment when contacted on the phone by Bloomberg.

The central bank sells dollars at auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays to support the naira and occasionally offers the U.S. currency directly to lenders to reduce demand. It sold $600 million at auctions this week, unchanged from the previous week.

Yields on Nigeria’s $500 million Eurobonds due January 2021 fell 16 basis points, or 0.16 percentage point, to 5.79 percent. Borrowing costs on local-currency debt due January 2022 rose 75 basis points to 14 percent yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Ghana’s cedi was unchanged at 2.0095 per dollar, in the capital, Accra.

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