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Currencies

Nigeria: Pressure on FX to continue in 2021 – Report

Pressure on FX will continue in 2021 as a result of thin reserve buffers and recovering domestic demands.

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Foreign Exchange: FX demand backlog, Naira gains against the dollar at I&E window, forex liquidity up by 66% 

EFG Hermes has revealed that pressure on FX will continue in 2021 as a result of thin reserve buffers and recovering domestic demands.

This is contained in its recently released report, 2021 The Year Ahead – Is The Recovery In The Price?

The company envisages that adjustment in the country’s current setting is driven primarily by its view that the country’s FX conditions are likely to remain tight in 2021.

READ: EFG Hermes concludes advisory on Al Habib Group’s $700 million IPO

Further noting that higher oil prices – with a USD55/bbl forecast for 2021 – would still fall short of providing the adequate liquidity needed to ease FX shortages.

According to the company, despite Nigeria’s economy facing a twin-problem of the pandemic shock and lower oil prices, it believes the country is attempting recovery with very few buffers, leaving the economy vulnerable to further shocks.

With rates depressed as they are, the country stands no chance in attracting foreign portfolio investments, which were key in easing liquidity shortages back in 2017.

READ: Central Bank says monetary policy not to blame for rising food cost

What they are saying

The report notes that:

  • Inflexible currency policy leaves the system plagued with backlogs and a parallel market that is trading at a +20% premium, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) adopting a policy of reserve conservation (vehemently defending the $35 billion level).
  • “Chronic fiscal problems, mostly in the form of weak revenue collection, has rendered the fiscal channel broken, with a debt service burden ratio of 80%.
  • “The country’s macro position has been further complicated by the absence of major reform initiatives by the government, as a result, depriving it of much-needed financial support. Out of a $6.9 billion package, the country only received $3.4 billion from the IMF, with USD3.5bn from the World Bank and African Development Bank.”

READ: Investors channel funds to forex, equity after OMO ban- Report

What EFG Hermes is advising

  • The report acknowledges that the government has taken certain steps to reform the economy, including de-regulation of fuel prices, and the devaluation of currency by the CBN a couple of times. However, outcomes differ from forecasts, further exposing the economy to highly vulnerable external shocks.
  • The company sees the current policy mix of high inflation, highly depressed rates, overvalued official exchange rate and various monetary policy regulations (mostly on banks’ liquidity) as highly unsustainable, contending that something must be done this year.
  • The company, therefore, asserts that interest rates has to be the target and should jack up from their current near-zero level.
  • The recently approved $1.5 billion loan from the World Bank, as well as a potential Eurobond issuance, are likely to ease short-term FX pressures. Nevertheless, these funds are unlikely to be a game changer and FX pressure would fundamentally require authorities to continue with import controls and an overall tight monetary policy.

Adeyemi holds a PhD in Accounting Sciences. He has worked in the Educational Sector and as an Independent Consultant.

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Currencies

Naira strengthens at NAFEX window as dollar supply improves in forex market

Naira appreciated against the US Dollar on Thursday as it closed at N406.50 to a dollar at the NAFEX window.

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Naira, Exchange rate falls across forex markets as dollar liquidity remains low

The exchange rate between the naira and the US Dollar closed at N406.50/$1, at the Investors and Exporters window on Thursday.

Naira appreciated against the US Dollar on Thursday as it closed at N406.50 to a dollar at the NAFEX window, representing a 1.1% gain when compared to N411 recorded on the previous trading day as dollar supply improves in the forex market.

Meanwhile, the naira remained stable against the dollar to close at N480/$1 on Thursday, March 4, 2021. This was the same rate that it closed on the previous trading day.

The forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window dropped by 44% from $59.17 million recorded on Tuesday to $33.15 million on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

READ: Naira gains at NAFEX window as external reserve plunges $1.1 billion in less than a month

Trading at the official NAFEX window

The Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters window on Thursday to close at N406.50/$1. This represents a N4.50 gain when compared to N411 recorded on the previous trading day.

  • The opening indicative rate closed at N411.10 to a dollar on Thursday. This represents a 44 kobo drop when compared to N410.66/$1 recorded on Wednesday.
  • Also, an exchange rate of N427.45 to a dollar was the highest rate during intra-day trading before it closed at N406.50/$1. It also sold for as low as N389.25/$1 during intra-day trading.
  • Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window rose by 102% on Thursday, March 4, 2021.
  • According to the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ, forex turnover increased from $33.15 million recorded on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, to $66.99 million on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

READ: Nigeria’s ratings risk downgrade over rising debt and lower revenue

Cryptocurrency watch

The world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, after yesterday’s rally, dropped by 7.60% to close above $46,000 compared to its previous closing at about $51,000.

  • The digital currency had earlier slipped 3% in early US trading on Thursday, hovering around $49,000.
  • Prices have surged almost 600% since the start of 2020 on the back of wider mainstream adoption, with bulls seeing it as both an inflation hedge and speculative asset.
  • Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken Exchange, in an interview with Bloomberg Television, said Bitcoin could reach $1 million in the next decade, adding that supporters say it could eventually replace all of the major fiat currencies
  • Bitcoin was trading below $44,000 earlier this week, having hit an all-time high the week before above $58,000. Its rebound suggest the third great price rally in its history may still be underway
  • Meanwhile, Ether ETH=BTSP, the coin linked to the Ethereum blockchain network, dropped by 6.9% to $1,478.17 on Thursday.

READ: Nigeria’s foreign reserves fall to 6-weeks low, lose $81.10 million

Oil price decline

Brent Crude oil rose by $2.67 on Thursday evening to close at $66.74 representing a 4.2% increase when compared to $64.07 recorded on the previous trading day.

  • Saudi Arabia and its OPEC+ allies shocked the oil market with a decision to keep the supply in check, sending prices surging and adding inflationary pressure to the global economy as it emerges from the pandemic.
  • A year after a bitter price war that sent crude crashing below zero, Saudi Arabia showed that its priority is preserving the hard-won oil recovery rather than worrying about tightening the market too much.
  • That means the cartel will still be withholding about 7 million barrels a day from the market, equivalent to about 7% of global demand, even as fuel consumption recovers in many countries.
  • WTI Crude closed at $64.39 (0.88%), OPEC Basket $62.15 (+0.29%), Bonny Light $66.12 (+4.77%), and Natural Gas $2,743 (-0.11%).

External reserve dips to lowest in two months

Nigeria’s external reserve continued its decline as it dropped by 0.12% to $34.915 billion as of March 3, 2021, compared to $34.957 billion recorded as of March 2, 2021.

  • This represents the lowest external reserve position Nigeria has recorded in over two-months when it stood at $34.98 billion as of 24, December 2020.
  • It is also worth noting that Nigeria lost over $1.2 billion in external reserves in the month of February.
  • The decline in Nigeria’s external reserve has persisted in the month of February, despite rallying oil prices in the month. This is a cause for worry, as Nigeria will hope to boost its reserve in order to meet up with its accumulated needs, hindered by the crash in oil prices earlier in 2020.

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Currencies

Naira gains at NAFEX window as oil prices rally back

The exchange rate between the naira and the US Dollar closed at N411/$1, at the Investors and Exporters window on Wednesday.

Published

on

Naira falls across forex markets as businesses resume after public holidays

The exchange rate between the naira and the US Dollar closed at N411/$1, at the Investors and Exporters window on Wednesday.

Naira appreciated marginally against the US Dollar on Wednesday as it closed at N411 to a dollar at the NAFEX window, representing a 0.15% gain when compared to N411.63 recorded on the previous trading day. This is as oil prices rallied back at the global market.

Meanwhile, the naira remained stable against the dollar to close at N480/$1 on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. This was the same rate that it closed on the previous trading day.

The forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window dropped by 44% from $59.17 million recorded on Tuesday to $33.15 million on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Trading at the official NAFEX window

The Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters window on Wednesday to close at N411/$1. This represents a 63 kobo gain when compared to N411.63 recorded on the previous trading day.

  • The opening indicative rate closed at N410.66 to a dollar on Wednesday. This represents a 55 kobo drop when compared to N410.11/$1 recorded on Tuesday.
  • Also, an exchange rate of N415 to a dollar was the highest rate during intra-day trading before it closed at N411/$1. It also sold for as low as N390/$1 during intra-day trading.
  • Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window dropped by 43.97% on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.
  • According to the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ, forex turnover declined from $59.17 million recorded on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, to $33.15 million on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Cryptocurrency watch

The world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin rallied back above $50,000 on Wednesday to close above $51,000 compared to its previous closing of $48,814.26 as it recovers from one of the most severe dips in its history.

  • The cryptocurrency rose by as much as 11% as bullish momentum returned after last week’s selloff, reaching the highest level in 2 weeks.
  • The cryptocurrency has been volatile with prices plunging 21% last week before recovering with the earlier broad bounce back in global equities. On a technical basis, the GTI Global Strength Indicator, which detects trend fluctuations, has begun to curl upward, suggesting a bullish move for Bitcoin.
  • Bitcoin was trading below $44,000 earlier this week, having hit an all-time high the week before above $58,000. Its rebound suggest the third great price rally in its history may still be underway
  • Meanwhile, Ether ETH=BTSP, the coin linked to the Ethereum blockchain network, dropped by 6% to $1,612.4 on Wednesday.

Oil price decline

Brent Crude oil rose by $1.06 on Wednesday to close at $64.07 representing a 1.7% increase when compared to $63.01 recorded on the previous trading day.

  • Oil prices rose on Wednesday, following reports that the OPEC+ group could be weighing the possibility not to increase collective oil production from April as widely expected and despite a shockingly large crude build (the largest on record) as estimated on Wednesday by the EIA, oil prices were still holding strong.
  • The OPEC+ alliance is considering keeping the oil production cuts from March in place in April as well, in view of the still-fragile global demand recovery.
  • Also, a US government report showed a record drop in domestic fuel inventories from the aftermath of a deep freeze that shuttered refineries in several states.
  • WTI Crude closed at $60.91 (0.60%), OPEC Basket $61.97 (-3.53%), Bonny Light $63.11 (-0.64%), and Natural Gas $2,800 (+0.57%).

External reserve dips to lowest in two months

Nigeria’s external reserve continued its decline as it dropped by 0.12% to $34.957 billion as of March 2, 2021, compared to $34.998 billion recorded as of March 1, 2021.

  • This represents the lowest external reserve position Nigeria has recorded in over two-months when it stood at $34.98 billion as of 24, December 2020.
  • It is also worth noting that Nigeria lost over $1.2 billion in external reserves in the month of February.
  • The decline in Nigeria’s external reserve has persisted in the month of February, despite rallying oil prices in the month. This is a cause for worry, as Nigeria will hope to boost its reserve in order to meet up with its accumulated needs, hindered by the crash in oil prices earlier in 2020.

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