OPEC reaches first deal to cut oil output since 2008 – Reuters

Nov 30 (Reuters) – The world’s largest oil exporters agreed on Wednesday to cut output for the first time in eight years to erode a global supply overhang that has persisted for two years and halved the value of a barrel of crude.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it would agree to limit crude oil output to a maximum of 32.5 million barrels per day starting Jan. 1 for six months.

The cut was at the low end of production of a preliminary agreement struck in Algiers in September, and reduces production from a current 33.64 million bpd.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, has agreed to bear the lion’s share of the cuts, but most member countries, including Iraq, which had initially refused to freeze its output, will limit their production.

Iran, Libya and Nigeria were all given special dispensation not to join in with the reduction, as the three are still fighting to boost their exports and regain market share lost to international sanctions, or civil unrest and violence.

Mohammed al-Sada, the energy minister for Qatar, and current president of OPEC, said key non-OPEC members had agreed to cuts of 600,000 bpd, of which Russia had committed to 300,000 bpd.

OPEC will meet its non-cartel counterparts to discuss their contribution to the effort to limit output on Dec. 9.

The price of oil rose by nearly 10 percent at one point during the day to a session peak of $51.84 a barrel, its highest in a month, as investors prepared for the possibility that lower OPEC output would lead to a swifter rebalancing between global crude supply and demand.

Below are analyst comments on the OPEC announcement:

ANDY BROGAN, GLOBAL OIL & GAS TRANSACTIONS LEADER, E&Y:

“OPEC’s decision to set up an independent governance committee shows a new focus on discipline. That approach gives me more confidence that we’ll see OPEC members abide by the agreement made today. We won’t know the real impact on the market until those production cuts are made, however. Until then, as with decisions made at past meetings, we expect to see short-term market gyration.”

TORBJØRN KJUS, OIL MARKET ANALYST, DNB BANK ASA:

“The OPEC communique specifies the cuts per country. This was very positive for the oil price and makes the agreement strong. There will be a monitoring committee that will follow up on the promised cuts by country. This was also very positive. The deal was also made stronger by the OPEC president’s statement that secondary sources will be used to monitor the cuts. This means the published numbers will be more trustworthy.”

“If demand is weak and even falling, you do not give away market share to others, like you would do when the root-cause for the price weakness instead is coming from the supply side, which is the story now. This is why we think compliance might be weaker this time than in 2001-02 and in 2008-09.”

GARETH LEWIS-DAVIES, BNP PARIBAS COMMODITIES STRATEGIST:

They’ve come up with an agreement with which their political credibility has been maintained and they’ve come up with a number. The question is the degree of compliance.

“The question that was avoided was to what extent is OPEC’s commitment to cut dependent on the … 600,000 bpd (of cuts) from non-OPEC. We remain rather cautious over whether this is a cut from current levels for a cut from proposed levels for 2017 and, as a consequence, would not be real cuts.”

PAUL HORSNELL, HEAD OF COMMODITIES RESEARCH, STANDARD CHARTERED:

“If you compare it with the case of if there hadn’t been an agreement, quite clearly, it’s probably at the upper end of the expectations of what was going to be possible at this particular meeting. And all in all, one of OPEC’s better days.”

“It doesn’t say (the cuts are) contingent on non-OPEC. It says it’s reached an understanding with key non-OPEC producers, but clearly what’s involved in there is non-OPEC is supposed to do its bit. It’s in nobody’s interest here to be seen as collapsing this … For what it is at the moment, it looks pretty credible.”

HAMZA KHAN, HEAD OF COMMODITIES STRATEGY, ING:

“OPEC says all of the members have taken Indonesia’s level upon themselves but they haven’t. Does that mean the effective cut is 700,000 bpd? If you look at the numbers, are they adding up? That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”

“We haven’t heard from the non-OPEC members and we don’t know where the other 300,000 bpd will come from (aside from the 300,000 bpd which OPEC says Russia has committed to). It’s a little bit strange for us.”

“The last two years have been full of atypical meetings but this one was unusual. They basically talked themselves into a corner; everyone started saying OPEC will cease to be a viable organisation if they don’t say anything, so they had to say something but it’s unclear what it means.”

CARSTEN FRITSCH, COMMODITY ANALYST, COMMERZBANK:

“It’s clear that OPEC is speaking with one voice. Non-OPEC is not very important anymore … If the OPEC cuts are implemented, it means there will be a deficit in early 2017 as the call on OPEC oil is 33.1 million barrels per day, according to the IEA.”

VIKTOR NOSSEK, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, WISDOMTREE:

“The price of oil has surged today as OPEC finally acted to reduce production, implementing its first cut in eight years. However, while prices may climb further in the very near-term, we expect any gains will be short-lived, with US production likely to ramp up to exploit higher prices.

Put simply, OPEC has not solved the supply glut, and indeed this merely shows how much Saudi Arabia’s position has weakened when it comes to its role as the price maker in oil markets. With a more stable supply side situation now the norm thanks to US shale production, any further upside for the oil price from current levels is unlikely to be sustainable, but that does not mean there will not be a spike in volatility around the price.”

MIHIR KAPADIA, CEO AND FOUNDER OF SUN GLOBAL INVESTMENTS:

“As expected, OPEC is also very keen for non-OPEC members to make a contribution of a 600K barrel reduction for the benefit of the oil industry. This is something that has to be respected and hopefully adhered to by the non-members as it is for the largest benefit of all – something which cannot be burdened just on OPEC. We expect oil prices to be on course towards $55 very soon which has been our forecast for end-2016 since February when it was trading at $28 per barrel.”

ROB THUMMEL, MANAGING DIRECTOR AND PORTFOLIO MANAGER, TORTOISE CAPITAL:

“We feel OPEC’s announcement sets the table for the energy sector bringing stability to oil prices, and OPEC is relevant again but its compliance with the new stated production quota is key to bringing global inventory levels back in-line with historical levels. Despite OPEC’s production cut, OPEC’s spare capacity remains tight; therefore, low cost U.S. oil production is expected to be a critical supplier as future demand for crude oil rises.”

CLEMENT THIBAULT, SENIOR EDITOR, INVESTING.COM:

There’s now proof that OPEC members can actually reach some sort of deal.

“This deal won’t solve the global oil glut in the very short term. And there are still quite a few wildcards that might trigger the cancellation of this deal at any time – including Russia and other non-OPEC countries, as well as the necessity for specific measures that would monitor and guarantee the production cuts.” (Reporting by Julia Payne, Sabina Zawadzki, Veronica Brown and Amanda Cooper in London and Bengaluru Commodities desk. Editing by Jane Merriman)

 

Naira appreaciates marginally at interbank market – NAN

The Naira on Wednesday appreciated marginally against the dollar at the interbank market, gaining 25k to exchange at N305, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The Nigerian currency closed at N305.25 on Tuesday.

Trading on the floor of the Bureau De Change (BDC) saw the Naira sold at N399 to a dollar, CBN controlled price, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N585 and N506 respectively.

The Naira continued to nosedive at the parallel market, closing at N480 to a dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro traded at N580 and N505 respectively.

Traders at the market said they have been trading under acute forex shortage.

Mr Harrison Owoh, a BDC operator, said there had been sustained fall in the sale of foreign currencies to BDCs for two weeks running.

Owoh attributed the shortage to the fall in inflow into the country.

He said “for two weeks running, BDCs have been gettting 8,000 dollars instead of 15,000 weekly dollar sale from Travelex.”

Russia ready to cut oil output by 300,000 bpd in H1, as agreed with OPEC – Reuters

MOSCOW Nov 30 (Reuters) – Russia is ready to “gradually” cut its oil production by up to 300,000 barrels per day in the first half of 2017 as a part of its agreement with OPEC, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, Novak said that Russia welcomes the OPEC decision and expects that other non-OPEC members will also join the deal by cutting their cumulative oil output by up to 300,000 bpd.

Novak gave no indication what is the level that Russia is ready to cut its oil output from. This year Russia’s crude output is on track to hit a new post-Soviet high. (Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Katya Golubkova)

 

Dollar records best month against yen in seven years – Reuters

By Jemima Kelly | LONDON

The dollar edged up on Wednesday as U.S. Treasury yields resumed their rise after three down days, with the greenback on track for its strongest performance against the yen in seven years.

The dollar hit its highest level against a basket of major currencies for almost 14 years last week, after a boost from Donald Trump’s shock U.S. election win that drove debt yields higher on expectations of more fiscal spending, higher inflation and a faster pace of monetary tightening.

The U.S. currency has rallied almost 8 percent versus the yen since the start of November, its strongest month since December 2009, and more than 3 percent against the euro, its best month in a year.

This week, however, the dollar has stalled somewhat, trading below last week’s peak, but the index was up 0.2 percent on Wednesday.

It was helped by data on Tuesday that saw the U.S. third quarter GDP revised up and November consumer confidence come in stronger than expected. Friday will see the most-watched set-piece data point of the month: the non-farm payrolls report.

“The market is a little bit more cautious – dollar strength has mainly been driven by expectations, so these can only carry you so far,” Commerzbank currency strategist Esther Reichelt said.

“In the end we want to see some facts to show these changed expectations are justified, and it’s still too early for that. I would expect for this reason the upcoming data to be quite important.”

Against the yen – which Reichelt said has also been pushed down this month by the Bank of Japan’s decision to implement a new monetary policy tool, targeting the yield curve – the dollar was up a third of a percent at 112.78 yen as U.S. Treasury yields ticked higher, some way off last week’s highs of 113.90 yen.

The dollar was up 0.1 percent against the euro at $1.0641, ahead of euro zone flash inflation data due at 1000 GMT.

Analysts said dollar gains were being capped, though, by a meeting by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) beginning at 1000 GMT that could spark volatility.

Many analysts believe OPEC will cobble together a deal to cut some production at its meeting in Vienna. But doubts still lingered as Iran and Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest and third-largest producers, have resisted pressure from the group’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia to curtail output.

Nigeria’s $976mn monthly import bill unsustainable, CBN warns – Businessday

By Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja

  • As local market boot government borrowing request

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again warned  that the country’s import bill presently at $976 billion is not sustainable especially with depleting reserves and low foreign exchange earnings.

Moses Tule, CBN Director of Monetary Policy raised the concerns on Tuesday. He said that the increasing preference of Nigerians  for imported goods and an absence of export culture was helping push the economy deeper into economic crisis.

Speaking at the 12th business managers redoubtable of the Chartered Institute Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Abuja, Tule said citizens’s consumption pattern can no longer be supported by the country’s earnings.

“We refused to realise that the economy is in dire shock and things are no longer normal,” he said, speaking at the event, titled, “The realities of the Nigerian economy: Recession and the way forward.”

“The moment we began to prefer imported goods to our domestically produced goods, we laid the foundation and built the superstructure to where we are now.  This is a conscious choice.  Every country makes the choice where it wants to be.  This is what we chose for ourselves as a country.

“When you don’t export…and the imposition of an external goods and services culture has put pressure on the currency, there is nothing the CBN can do about this.  We have got to produce, consume what we produce and export what we produce.  That is the way out.”

Explaining how the nation got into recession, Tule said, “Oil prices are down.  Not only are oil prices down, the Niger Delta Avengers have blown up oil producing facilities and export facilities, severally.

” So we have oil prices and production going down.  The implication is that foreign exchange earnings are going down, but unfortunately, our import expenditure is not going down.  It is still in the region of N976 billion, monthly.”

He however admitted that so many other countries are also going through some economic shocks but that Nigeria’s case is worsened by its huge population and high population growth rate of about 3.5 percent which he said would mean that Nigeria must grow economy at 5.5 percent to stay afloat. He said with the curent recession, the growth deficit is as high as 7.56 percent  which would be needed to just sustain the economy.

Emphasisng the need for government to quickly reflate the economy, he said Japan for example which has also been through recession has been injecting about 3.7 trillion yen monthly into its economy and having not seen commendable results, recently pumped whopping 352 trillion yen.

Explains Nigeria’s economic dire situation, Tule explained that due to the present recession, people’s purchasing power has dropped which has also impacted on consumption and output, profit margin, investments and ofcourse jobs.

He said Non-Performing Loans have equally risen from 3 percent to as high as 15 percent while government overall deficit has jumped from three to five percent.

He said unfortunately, “policy prescription has also not been right. We have not sat down to analyse the recession issue. People only pontificate about what should be done.”

Tule said the problem is even heightened by the fact that government can no longer borrow as the local market for lack of confidence.

“Last week they (government ) came back with only 25 per cent of what they wanted to borrow from the market- domestic market- saying we haven’t seen your fiscal policy, we haven’t seen the direction.  We will not lend.  We will not buy your instrument.  ‘That is market speaking. said no.   If you are offering to us at 20 per cent, we will not accept.”’

“What they are saying is ‘we have weighed the risks, they are higher and they said  give it to us at 22 per cent or higher, if not we will not take.’  So for every N100 , the government takes N78 to themselves and gives the public N22.”

Moreover, he said the on-going economic recession has persisted owing to application of wrong tools, advice and inadequate synergy between monetary and fiscal policies,

According to him, the Monetary Policy Committee ( MPC ) had, since early last year, consistently warned that the nation would slip into recession if urgent steps were not taken but were not heeded.

He said the only way out of the economic crisis is for the fiscal authorities to take the lead “There is no other way out because  fiscal policy provides the leadership for macro-economic management in every country .  Monetary policy only comes as a complementary policy.

“In all climes, fiscal policy provides the leadership and when monetary policy has reached its end, and it can no longer stimulate output growth, fiscal policy must come with huge injections.   This much is not a new recommendation.  The fiscal authorities are aware of this.  As you aware, government is looking for some external funding to do exactly this,” he added.

Fuel subsidy stoppage saves FG $15.4bn – Kachikwu – Punch

By Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

Nigeria has saved $15.4bn as a result of the elimination of subsidy on petroleum products since May this year, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said. 

Kachikwu disclosed this while hosting members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.

The lawmakers were at the ministry as part of their oversight functions.

Kachikwu, who was represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Jemila Su’ara, also thanked the National Assembly for supporting the ministry and its agencies when the price modulation template was introduced in May.

In a statement issued by the ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Mr. Idang Alibi, the minister stated that the price modulation had eliminated subsidies and liberalised the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.

Outlining the achievements recorded under his stewardship, Kachikwu said Nigeria was able to sign Memoranda of Understandings worth about $80bn during his recent trips to China and India; partial resuscitation of the Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries; repair of products’ pipelines; and the resuscitation of supply of products from Atlas Cove-Mosimi-Ibadan-Ilorin after a six-year lull.

Others, according to the statement, include improved crude oil supply to the Warri and Kaduna refineries and savings of $15.4bn for the Federal Government as a result of the elimination of subsidy payments for petroleum products.

In his response, the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Joseph Akinlaja, said the oil industry was the life blood of the Nigerian economy.

This, he said, was why the National Assembly and all Nigerians were interested in what was going on in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and its parastatals and agencies.

Akinlaja said the committee members paid the visit in order to be properly briefed on the activities of the ministry in order to know what legislative support they could give for the achievement of its plans, programmes and projects.

Dangote to invest $3b in energy sector – Guardian

Chief Strategy Officer, Dangote Group, Dr. Abdul Muktar has disclosed the group’s intention to embark on $3 billion project for a 540-kilometre pipeline from Niger Delta to the Lekki free trade zone in Lagos.

Muktar, who disclosed this at the annual roundtable session of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (LCCI) Power Sector Group said, the project, which would come on board by the first quarter of 2019 aims at transporting three billion cubic metres of gas per day.

He further noted that to address the issue of pipeline vandalism, which is the major challenge faced by the energy sector, the pipelines would be offshore.

According to him, the relevance of gas power cannot be over emphasized, as lack of it can cascade into manufacturing issues and subsequent national economic concerns.

Muktar, who described the project as a game changer in the industry, advanced that apart from the scarcity of forex in recent times, power has primarily been the major challenge faced by the manufacturing sector. “And the problem we also have in the power sector is unavailability of gas.”

The Dangote strategy officer cited that only 25 per cent of the 250 million cubic feet of gas needed to run the Dangote cement plant per day is available, “this has made the company resort to coal and is not too environmental friendly.”

The project he said is necessary at this time because the jittery nature of the nation’s economy with another negative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of -2.24 per cent recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics makes it three quarters of negative growth, which is disheartening.

He added that such growth had only been recorded in the country 29 years ago and that makes it critical.

The oil sector, he remarked shrunk by 22.1 per cent and for Nigeria to recover from the recession, the need to focus on manufacturing is paramount.

Reacting to Muktar’s revelation was the publisher of Africa oil and Gas Report, Toyin Akinosho, who noted that Dangote’s timeline of 2019 for the project is unrealistic, “though the pipeline construction is realistic with them, but not likely in 2019, perhaps in 2021 0r 2022, because they have not taken final investment decision, but Dangote people would not like to say that, and more so they do not have a guaranteed gas supply for the three billion cubic feet per day.”

Saudi signals compromise for Iran as OPEC debates output cut – Reuters

* Saudi Falih says OPEC close to reaching a deal

* Says Iran OK to freeze output at pre-sanction levels 

* OPEC to study proposal to cut output by 1.2 mln bpd

* Brent futures up more than 5 percent, above $49/barrel (Adds Saudi comment, updates oil price)

By Ahmad Ghaddar, Alex Lawler and Rania El Gamal

VIENNA, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Wednesday OPEC was close to clinching a deal to limit oil output, adding Riyadh would agree to Iran freezing production at pre-sanctions levels.

The comments could be seen as a compromise by Riyadh, which in recent weeks insisted that Iran fully participate in any cut.

Brent crude futures jumped more than 5 percent to above $49 a barrel. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries started a closed-door session at around 1000 GMT with a news conference scheduled for 1500 GMT.

Falih also said OPEC was focusing on reducing output to a ceiling of 32.5 million barrels per day, or cutting by more than 1 million bpd, and hoped Russia and other non-OPEC members would contribute a cut of another 0.6 million bpd.

But he added that even if OPEC failed to reach a deal, the market would slowly recover as fundamentals were moving in the right direction.

“We believe that non-OPEC growth has reversed and also most of the OPEC growth we’ve seen is already behind us,” he told reporters.

Clashes between Saudi Arabia and arch-rival Iran have dominated many previous OPEC meetings.

On Tuesday, Iran wrote to OPEC saying it wanted Saudi Arabia to cut production by as much as 1 million bpd, much more than Riyadh was willing to offer, OPEC sources who saw the letter told Reuters.

But the tone changed on Wednesday. “I’m optimistic,” said Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, adding there had been no request for Iran to cut output.

The 14-country group, which accounts for a third of global oil production, made a preliminary agreement in Algiers in September to cap output at around 32.5-33 million bpd versus the current 33.64 million bpd to prop up oil prices, which have halved since mid-2014.

OPEC said it would exempt Iran, Libya and Nigeria from cuts as their output has been crimped by unrest and sanctions.

The deal was seen as a victory for Iran. Tehran has long argued it wants to raise production to regain market share lost under Western sanctions, when its political foe Saudi Arabia increased output.

In recent weeks, Riyadh changed its stance and offered to cut its output by 0.5 million bpd, according to OPEC sources, while suggesting Iran limit production at around 3.8 million bpd – in line with or slightly above the country’s current output.

Tehran has sent mixed signals, saying it wanted to produce as much as 4.2 million bpd. Iran’s letter to OPEC suggested Saudi Arabia should cut output to 9.5 million bpd.

Documents prepared for Wednesday’s meeting propose the group cut production by 1.2 million bpd from October levels, an OPEC source familiar with the papers said.

The papers also propose Saudi Arabia reduce production to 10.07 million bpd from 10.54 million bpd in October and that Iran freeze output at 3.797 million bpd.

An Algerian energy source said OPEC ministers so far supported the proposal.

Iraq has also been pressing for higher output limits, saying it needs more money to fight the militant group Islamic State. Iran and Iraq together produce over 8 million bpd, only slightly behind long-time leader Saudi with 10.5 million bpd.

The argument between Iraq and Saudi Arabia mainly focuses on whether Baghdad should use its own output estimates to limit production or rely on lower figures from OPEC’s experts.

Some analysts including Morgan Stanley and Macquarie have said oil prices will correct sharply if OPEC fails to reach a deal, potentially going as low as $35 per barrel.

(Additional reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Shadia Nasralla and Lisa Barrington; Writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Dale Hudson)

 

Nigeria’s forex reserves increase by $657m – Today

Nigeria’s forex exchange reserve recorded a geometric increase in the last four weeks as it rose by $658million within November alone, a dependable source at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) confirmed yesterday.

According to the source, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, the reserve recorded a huge increase last week, pushing the figure up from $23.95billion where it was at the beginning of the month to about $24.60 billion.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had hinted that there was an increase in the forex reserve, attributing it to receipts of foreign flows within the month, even as it admitted that total outflows decreased by 4.57 per cent from $2,728.12million to $2,603.35 during the period under review.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the two-day meeting last week, the MPC disclosed that total foreign exchange inflows through the CBN increased by 89.14 per cent, from $1,092.21million recorded in July to $2,065.79 million in August 2016.

Meanwhile, the CBN yesterday charged fiscal authorities on confidence building, re-emphasising the need for the federal government to pay attention to confidence-building fiscal policies and publicise what it was doing in that regard, in order to win investors’ confidence.

The CBN also stressed the need for coordination of monetary and fiscal policies, especially in the country’s current period of recession.

CBN’s director, Monetary Policy Department, Mr Moses Tule, made the statement yesterday, while delivering a lecture on the place of monetary policy in the current economic realities at the ‘2016 Business Managers Roundtable’ organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Abuja.

Asked if the prolonged economic crisis ravaging the country could be interpreted to mean that the fiscal authorities are helpless on how to manage the situation, Tule said: “I wouldn’t agree that there are no improvements in fiscal policies; there are, there is so much happening.”

He added that the onus was on the fiscal authorities to publicise what they are doing.

“They are doing a lot already. There is so much the fiscal authority is doing. But in a recession like this, you really need to blow your trumpet because what you need is the confidence. The louder the trumpet, the greater the number of people the sound reaches. So I think it is imperative to blow that trumpet and make it high,” he advised.

Tule blamed the nation’s recession on wrong policy prescriptions, wrong instruments, wrong policy approaches and wrong pieces of advice from people who are not economic professionals, those he termed ‘half-baked experts’.

He noted that the efficacy of the nation’s monetary policy was already compromised, but that it alone, by itself, cannot solve the problem; rather, “fiscal and monetary policies should lend a hand.”

Citing the cases of some countries, including Japan and Britain, which have had to inject huge money into their economies to stimulate them, Tule said Nigeria’s case was different.

“There is no way out because fiscal policy provides the leadership for macroeconomic management in any country. Monetary policy always comes as complementary policy. So, in all climes, fiscal policy provides the leadership, and when monetary policy has reached its end and it can no longer stimulate output growth, fiscal policy must step in with huge injections,” he explained.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) department of the CBN had last week urged the federal government to urgently assess the extent of its indebtedness to domestic economic agents and develop a framework for securitising the debts in order to settle its outstanding domestic contractual obligations, which cut across all sectors of the economy. These accumulated debts, it said, have slowed business activities of economic agents, most of who are indebted to the banking system, thus compromising the integrity of the financial system.

Naira dips to N480/$ at parallel market on forex scarcity

As the scarcity of foreign exchange gets stronger at the parallel market, the value of the naira dipped further selling at N480 to the dollar yesterday while the value remained stable at the interbank market.

At the interbank end of the foreign exchange market, the naira sold at N305.25 the same rate it was quoted on Monday according to data provided by FMDQ. At the parallel market, the value of the naira had dropped by 1.5 per cent from N473 which it sold on Monday.

The naira had remained relatively stable around N465 and N470 at the parallel market last week before it dipped to N473 on Friday last week which it also sold on Monday.

Meanwhile, the external reserves of the country continued to rise steadily despite the activities of the militants in the oil rich Niger Delta region.

This according to traders may be due to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision not to intervene in the interbank market by selling dollars to shore up the value of the naira. The external reserves which had dipped to a low of $23.89 billion as at October 19, 2016 has risen by 3.33 per cent.

Latest figures given by the apex bank on its website showed that the 30 day moving average of the country’s external reserves stood at $24.695 billion as at November 28, 2016.