Naira strengthens across FX markets as speculators react to reports of CBN funding to BDCs

Thursday, 17th June 2021: The exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar closed at N411.5/$1 at the official Investors and Exporters window.

Naira appreciated on Thursday against the US dollar to close at N411.5 to a dollar compared to N412/$1 recorded on Wednesday, 16th June 2021.

Also, the exchange rate gained at the parallel market to close at N493/$1 compared to N502/$1 recorded on Wednesday. This represents a N9 gain in a single day, and it traded for as much as N485/$1 during intra-day trading.

The rebound of the naira against the U.S. dollar at the parallel market was attributed to worries that the CBN might be ready to pump forex into the market with the aim of boosting liquidity. Recall that Nairametrics had reported that forex speculators could lose over N100 billion as the CBN continues massive funding to BDC operators.

Trading at the official NAFEX window

Naira appreciated against the US dollar at the Investors and Exporters window on Thursday to close at N411.5/$1, representing a 50 kobo gain when compared to the N412/$1 that was recorded the previous day.

  • The opening indicative rate closed at N411.54 to a dollar on Thursday, 17th June 2021, representing a 52 kobo depreciation when compared to the N411.02/$1 recorded on Wednesday, 16th June 2021.
  • Also, an exchange rate of N412/$1 was the highest rate recorded during intra-day trading, before it settled at N411.5/$1. It also sold for as low as N400/$1 during intra-day trading.
  • Forex turnover at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window increased marginally by 4.8% on Thursday, 17th June 2021.
  • FMDQ showed that forex turnover increased from $131.86 million recorded on Wednesday, 16th June 2021 to $138.2 million on Thursday, 17th June 2021.

Cryptocurrency watch

The cryptocurrency market continued in its bearish trend as investors lost about $17.72 billion to sell-offs in the market. The total market capitalisation dipped by 1.13% to close at $1.55 trillion.

  • Bitcoin also ended on a bearish note, recording a 1.68% decline to close at $37,683.9 while Ethereum dipped by 1.17% to close at $2,338.47.
  • This came on the back of the refusal of the World Bank to assist El Salvador with the integration of Bitcoin into its society. The World Bank stated concerns related to environmental and transparency issues.
  • Meanwhile, a recent survey by Intertrust reveals that Hedge funds plan to significantly increase their exposure to cryptocurrencies by 2026. Notably, executives expect to hold an average of 7.2% of their assets in cryptocurrencies in 5 years’ time.

Crude oil

Crude oil prices fell on Thursday having recorded a streak of positive performances in recent times as Brent Crude fell below the $74 per barrel mark it attained earlier in the week.

  • Brent crude oil lost 1.71% on Thursday, 17th June 2021 to close at $73.12 per barrel.
  • The decline was attributed to the increased dollar rate during intra-day trading, which makes commodity prices in the dollar now more pricey for those holding other currencies.
  • Note that, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index (DXY), which measures the dollar against a basket of six rivals was up by 0.9% on Thursday, during the day.
  • Also, the US Federal Reserve said it may lift rates as early as 2023, which is a year earlier than the previous expectation.
  • Meanwhile, WTI Crude lost 1.51% to close at $71.06, Bonny Light gained 1.94% to close at $74.68 per barrel, OPEC Basket 1.63% growth to close at $73.16 while Natural Gas dipped 1.17% to close at 3.213.

External reserve

Nigeria’s external reserve plunged further on Wednesday, 16th June 2021 as it dipped by $25.17 million to close at $33.8 billion.

  • This represents a 0.07% decline compared to $33.85 billion recorded on Tuesday, 15th June 2021.
  • A total of $1.55 billion has been lost in reserves year-to-date, while month-to-date loss stands at $405.3 million.
  • Nigeria’s forex reserve continues to trend downwards despite the positive rally recorded in the global crude oil market, with Bonny Light currently trading over $74 per barrel.
  • It is worth noting that India’s oil imports have started recovering after months of lessened activities due to the covid-19 pandemic on the country’s economy.

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