Naira gains, closes at 350 per dollar – Punch

Oyetunji Abioye

The naira gained at the parallel market on Monday, closing at 350 against the United States dollar as demand for the greenback slows gradually.

The local currency had closed at 360 against the dollar at the unofficial market on Friday, two days after the Federal Government announced the removal of fuel subsidy and a new petrol price band of N135 to N145 per litre.

The government said fuel importers were allowed from now on to get dollars from the parallel market to help ease acute shortages– likely to result in increased demand for dollars, and more pressure on the naira, as importers increased their orders.

The President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said on Monday that the demand for the greenback was reducing gradually.

“The demand for the greenback is still high but it appears as if it is moderating. Earlier in the day, the naira was trading around 355 against the dollar before closing at 350,” he said.

Traders and financial experts had attributed the drop in the naira value to demand pressure from buyers, speculation, the announcement that fuel marketers should source forex from the secondary sources and hoarding.

They, however, said on Monday that it would be too early to predict the direction of the exchange rate movement for the week.