Naira declines to N409.75/$ at NAFEX window as FX liquidity crisis persists

Tuesday 16th March 2021: The exchange rate between the naira and the US Dollar closed at N409.75 to a dollar at the Investors and Exporters window.

The Naira depreciated against the US Dollar on Tuesday to close at N409.75/$1, representing a 0.21% drop when compared to N408.90/$1 recorded on Monday, 15th March 2021 as liquidity crisis persists in the forex market.

Also, the Naira remained stable against the US Dollar in the parallel market, to close at N485 to a dollar. the same as the rate that was recorded on the previous day.

Trading at the official NAFEX window

Naira depreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters window on Tuesday to close at N409.75 to a dollar. This represents an 85 kobo drop when compared to N408.90/$1 recorded on the previous trading day.

  • The opening indicative rate closed at N409.24 to a dollar on Tuesday. This represents a N1.71 gain when compared to N410.95/$1 recorded on Friday.
  • Also, an exchange rate of N412 to a dollar was the highest rate during intra-day trading before it closed at N409.75/$1. It also sold for as low as N394/$1 during intra-day trading.
  • Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window dropped by 36.2% on Tuesday, 16th March 2021.
  • Forex turnover declined from $50.67 million recorded on Monday, March 15, 2021, to $32.33 million on Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Cryptocurrency watch

Bitcoin, the world’s most popular and largest cryptocurrency dropped by as much as 5.5% on Tuesday before trimming some losses to trade at $56,640 as it risks extending losses after the weekend rally is written off.

  • Bitcoin gave up all the gains that pushed it to a fresh record over the weekend as exuberance around a new injection of stimulus waned.
  • The token had hit a high on Saturday of $61,742. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, tracking Bitcoin, Ether and three other cryptocurrencies slumped as much as 5%.
  • Crypto traders have been positioning for the arrival of the next round of U.S. stimulus checks and are betting some of that money will find its way to Bitcoin.

Oil prices record decline

Brent Crude oil on Tuesday 16th March 2021 dropped by 0.12% to close at $68.39, as oil extends losses on renewed demand concerns.

  • Oil prices fell for the third day in a row on Tuesday as the third wave of coronavirus infections in Europe and slowing vaccine rollouts in the EU in addition to a stronger US dollar, is negatively impacting the market.
  • While data from Asia and the United States point to a rebound in fuel demand, some major economies in Europe are headed toward the third wave of Covid-19 infections with new restrictions. This is in addition to concerns over suspension of vaccinations with AstraZeneca vaccine in big economies like Germany, France and Italy amid concerns of blood clots as potential side-effects.
  • Also, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday a surprise draw in crude oil inventories of 1 million barrels for the week ending March 12.
  • WTI Crude closed at $64.97 (+0.26%), OPEC Basket $68.11 (+0.06), Bonny Light $66.90 (-0.90%), and Natural Gas $2,561 (-0.04%).

External reserve continues its decline

Nigeria’s external reserve declined by 0.26% on Monday, 15th March 2021 to stand at $34.50 billion being a record low in 10 months.

  • The country’s external reserve declined from $34.59 billion recorded as of Friday, 12h March 2021 to stand at $34.50 billion as of 15th March 2021.
  • Nigeria’s current external reserve position indicates a total drop of about $500 million in the month of March 2021.

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