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Currencies

Naira gains against the dollar at I&E window, as forex liquidity goes up by 358%

The performance of the naira at the I&E window, however, seems to contrast with that at the parallel market where the local currency lost N3 to a dollar as it depreciated to N450 to a dollar on Friday.

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Central Bank Continues intervention in Forex market to stabilize Naira, Naira to depreciate slightly over $1.52 billion maturing contracts expires, Naira hits N388.84 to $1 at the currency spot market, Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, Naira weakens against the dollar by 1.14% amidst uncertainty, Naira gains against the dollar at I&E window, forex liquidity up by 242%  

The naira has appreciated to N386.50 to a dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, despite the uncertainty of the foreign exchange market. The local currency was strengthened by N0.20 against the dollar, when compared to the N386.70 to a dollar that it traded on Thursday, June 4, 2020. 

The exchange rate at the I&E window is different from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s published exchange rate, which currently stands at N360/$1. This is also different from the exchange rate at the parallel market, which depreciated to N450 to a dollar, according to information on AbokiFX as of Friday, June 5, 2020. 

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Available information from the daily trading at FMDQ (where FX is traded by importers and investors) shows that the naira improved against the dollar by N1.25, closing at N386.50 to a dollar, as against the indicative rate of N387.75 to a dollar that it opened with on Friday. 

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s foreign reserves hit $36.57 billion; Emefiele keeps his word on defending the naira

A cursory look at the data from the FMDQ shows that the turnover for the day went up by about 358% at $112.89 million. This is against the $24.64 million turnovers that was recorded on Wednesday, June 3. 

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The performance of the naira at the I&E window, however, seems to contrast with that at the parallel market where the local currency lost N3 to a dollar as it depreciated to N450 to a dollar on Friday as against the previous day’s rate of N447 to a dollar. 

The Central Bank of Nigeria had promised to provide more liquidity in the foreign exchange market, especially for genuine users while also discouraging currency speculators from heating up the market. 

The apex bank yesterday debited the accounts of 25 commercial banks with the sum of N460 billion naira ($1.2 billion) as additional cash reserves for missing cash reserve ratio (CRR). Apart from serving as penalty to the banks, this also reduces the excess cash in the money market which might be used to put further pressure on the foreign exchange market. 

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Patricia

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Currencies

Naira weakens as forex turnover falls by 88%  

The opening indicative rate was N387.32 to a dollar on Wednesday.

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Forex turnover fell by 88% on Wednesday at the I&E window weakening the exchange rate to N386.76/$1. The exchange rate at the black market however remained flat at N461/$1 for the third consecutive day this week.  

NAFEX: The naira depreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window on Wednesday,  closing at N386.75 to a dollar, compared to the N386.50 that was reported on Tuesday, July 7, representing a 25 kobo drop. This is as traders continue to mull over CBN’s adjustment of the exchange rate at the SMIS window. The opening indicative rate was N387.32 to a dollar on Wednesday. This represents a 14 kobo drop when compared to the N387.18 to a dollar that was recorded on Tuesday.       

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Parallel Market: At the black market where forex is traded unofficially, the naira remained stable as it closed at N461 to a dollar on Wednesday which was the same rate that it exchanged on Tuesday.   

READ MORE: Unify exchange rates to foster economic growth – NISER 

Nigeria maintains multiple exchange rates comprising the CBN official rate, the BDC rates, SMIS and the NAFEX (I&E window). Nairametrics reported last week that the government has set plans in motion to unify the multiple exchange rates in line with requirements from the World Bank. Nigeria is seeking a world bank loan of up to $3 billion.     

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Forex Turnover    

Meanwhile, forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window recorded a decline on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, as it dropped by 88.4% day on day, a huge decline from the figure that it achieved on Tuesday at the foreign exchange market. This is according to data from the FMDQOTC, an exchange where forex is traded by foreign investors and exporters.       

According to the data tracked by Nairametrics, forex turnover decreasedfrom $103.37million on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, to $11.96million on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, representing an 88.4% drop on a day-to-day basis. This is a reversal from the decent turnover that was recorded the previous day and is a far cry from the $200 million mark that was achieved in January and last week.  

Rate Adjustment  

Nairametrics reported on Wednesday that the CBN official rate has been adjusted from N360 to a dollar to N381 to a dollar as reflected on the website of the FMDQ.  However, the official rate quoted on the website of the CBN remains at N360/$1.  

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According to Reuters, “the naira eased 5.5% on the official market on Tuesday, after the central bank sold dollars to lenders at a lower rate, bowing to pressure from international lenders to unify its multiple exchange rates.” Reuters also reported “the naira eased to 380.50 in off-market trades, from 360.50 close on Monday” quoting sources from traders.  

Nairametrics cannot confirm if the latest adjustment is reflective of the SMIS rates or if the central bank has now taken a bold step towards unification and adjusted its official rate. Reuters claims it’s a move to “unify the exchange rate”.  

Explore economic research data from Nairametrics on Nairalytics

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What this means: Unifying the Naira around the NAFEX rate is effectively another round of devaluation. If this is carried out and forex liquidity improves, then it could lead to an exchange rate strengthen in the parallel market just like it occurred in 2017.  

The parallel market rate is currently N461/$1 and could converge to the NAFEX rate meaning those who bought above the NAFEX rate could lose money if they sell.  

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Currencies

U.S dollar gains against major currencies, U.S Fed warning limits upside

The U.S. Dollar Index tracks the American dollar against a basket of other major currencies.

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U.S dollar rises against major currencies, U.S and China’s economic data support the dollar, U.S dollar gains ground, U.S. President Trump boosts investors’ Optimism

The American dollar gained on Wednesday at London’s trading session, with global investors and currency traders turning to the safe-haven asset amid a resurgence of COVID-19 caseloads.

The American Dollar Index, which monitors the U.S dollar against a basket of other currencies, gained 0.06% to 96.907 at 5.33 am local time.

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However, many currency traders’ positive bias on the greenback further weakened over a warning from several U.S. Federal Reserve officials that the rising number of COVID-19 caseloads could distort the fragile economic recovery, with some global central banks stimulus programs due to expire soon.

READ MORE: Novavax secures $1.6 billion funding for COVID-19 vaccine production

“The mood changes day by day, but the dollar looks to be supported for now as investors turn more cautious about the virus,” Yukio Ishizuki, foreign exchange strategist at Daiwa Securities, told Reuters.

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Quick fact: The U.S. Dollar Index tracks the American dollar against a basket of other major currencies (like the Japanese yen, British pound sterling, Swedish Krona, Euro). Individuals hoping to meet foreign exchange payment obligations, via dollar transactions to countries like Europe, and Japan, would need to pay less dollars in meeting such obligations.

READ MORE: Gold price rises further due to influx of new COVID-19 cases

“The Fed’s comments on the economy sound sombre. There’s reason to worry because it is hard to see when the virus will be brought under control,” Yukio added.

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Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at AxiCorp, in a note to Nairametrics, spoke about the fundamentals triggering the U.S index volatility. He said:

“The USD is stronger this morning, aided by risk aversion and perhaps the continued run of surprisingly strong US data.

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“However, the US data’s comfort blanket is being throttled by the rising COVID-19 case count in many US states that might point to renewed economic headwinds ahead.”

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Currencies

Exchange rate remains stable as CBN “adjust official rates” from N360 to N381/$1 

The CBN still continues to warn against currency speculators who patronize the black market.

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Central Bank Continues intervention in Forex market to stabilize Naira, Naira to depreciate slightly over $1.52 billion maturing contracts expires, Naira hits N388.84 to $1 at the currency spot market, Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, Naira weakens against the dollar by 1.14% amidst uncertainty, Naira gains against the dollar at I&E window, forex liquidity up by 242%  

Data published on the website of the FMDQ on Tuesday reveals that the CBN official rate has been adjusted from N360 to a dollar to N381 to a dollar sending mixed messages to traders who wonder if the CBN has devalued again. However, the official rate quoted on the website of the CBN remains at N360/$1. 

According to Reuters, “the naira eased 5.5% on the official market on Tuesday, after the central bank sold dollars to lenders at a lower rate, bowing to pressure from international lenders to unify its multiple exchange rates.” Reuters also reports “the naira eased to 380.50 in off-market trades, from 360.50 close on Monday” quoting sources from traders. 

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Nairametrics cannot confirm if the latest adjustment is reflective of the SMIS rates or if the central bank has now taken a bold step towards unification and adjusted its official rate. Reuters claims it’s a move to “unify the exchange rate”. 

READ ALSO: Banks’ stakeholders express 4 main concerns bothering the sector right now

NAFEX: The exchange rate between the naira and dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window remained stable on Tuesday, closing at N386.50 to a dollar. This was the same rate that was recorded on Monday as traders continue to mull over CBN’s adjustment of the exchange rate at the SMIS window. The opening indicative rate was N387.18to a dollar on Tuesday. This represents an 18 kobo drop when compared to the N387 to a dollar opening rate that was recorded on Monday.      

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Parallel Market: At the black market where forex is traded unofficially, the naira remained stable as it closed at N461 to a dollar on Tuesday which was the same rate that it exchanged on Monday.  

Nigeria continues to maintain multiple exchange rates comprising the CBN official rate, the BDC rates, SMIS and the NAFEX (I&E window). Nairametrics reported last week that the government has set plans in motion to unify the multiple exchange rates in line with requirements from the World Bank. Nigeria is seeking a world bank loan of up to $3 billion.    

READ ALSO: NSE Lists LAPO Microfinance Bank’s N6.2billion bond

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Forex Turnover   

Meanwhile, forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window had a rebound on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, as it gained 918.4% day on day, a significant increase from the figure that it achieved on Monday at the foreign exchange market. This is according to data from the FMDQOTC, an exchange where forex is traded by foreign investors and exporters.      

According to the data tracked by Nairametrics, forex turnover rosefrom $10.15million on Monday, July 6, 2020, to $103.37million on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, representing a 918.4% gain on a day-to-day basis. This is a reversal from the previous day’s drop in turnover but falls short of the $200 million mark that was in January and last week. 

The improved liquidity appears to have brought some measure of temporary stability in the foreign exchange market.   

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READ MORE: Analysts predict outlook for naira as forex unification plans gain momentum

Forex Sales Data 

The latest figure from the CBN shows that the apex bank injected $11.5 billion foreign exchange into the economy in the first quarter of 2020. The data showed that CBN supplied $2.96 billion, $3.39 billion and %4.7 billion in the months of January, February and March respectively into the forex market. 

The I&E window, small and medium enterprises and invisible segments had a total of $7.23 billion, the BDC segment got $3.6 billion and the interbank and WDA/RDAS received $0.67 billion. 

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The CBN suspended the sales of forex due to the lockdown in the country in April which was triggered by the coronavirus outbreak. It however resumed partial sales of forex in May to commercial banks for households and SMEs making essential imports. 

Forex Liquidity Issues  

The volatility and uncertainty of the forex market still persist due to accumulated demand and liquidity shortages across markets.  The rise in demand and contrasting drop in supply has called for another round of devaluation, which the CBN has insisted it had plans to implement.   

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The CBN on Friday adjusted the naira at the retail forex auction from N360 to a dollar to N381 to a dollar in a move that most analysts see as part of the plans to unify the exchange rate of the Naira. A devaluation last occurred in March. The apex bank wants to unify the exchange rate to conserve the dwindling external reserves which have been hard hit by demand by ever-increasing importers and the foreign investors wishing they exit the country.   

READ MORE: IMF pressures Nigeria to fast track exchange rate unification 

This current step taken by the CBN has moved the retail auction for importers and individuals, which is the official rate, closer to the over-the counter-spot for investors and exporters. Nairametrics spoke to some traders who are still reviewing what the latest move by the CBN could mean on the future price of forex. Whilst some believe this is a major step towards reunification others believe the real test of the value of the exchange rate could be when the economy finally opens. For now, projection is all speculation, one trader informs Nairametrics.      

The CBN still continues to warn against currency speculators who patronize the black market, thus widening the gap between it and the I&E window. The CBN maintains that the perceived demand cannot be substantiated following the drop in economic activities induced by the COVID-19 pandemic suggest demand should be low due to travel restrictions and drop-in economic activities.      

The further decline in liquidity could further fuel speculations in the black market where the exchange rate has traded at a premium of N60+ over the last few weeks. The CBN claims most of the demand being cited is not represented by any official documentation and that it has informed foreign investors with genuine forex demand to be “patient” and that they will get their forex.  

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