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Naira stays flat at N1,339.33/$1 as FX turnover surges by 81.59%

The naira has remained stable at N1,339.33/$1 on the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) window on Tuesday, marking no change from the previous day’s rate.

This stability comes amidst a significant surge in foreign exchange (FX) turnover, which increased by 81.59% to $328.32 million.

According to data from the FMDQ, the naira held steady on Monday, May 27, 2024, at the same rate of N1,339.33/$1. However, the foreign exchange turnover on Monday was significantly lower at $180.8 million, reflecting a 67.50% decrease compared to the previous trading session at the end of the previous week.

On Tuesday, May 28, 2024, the foreign exchange market experienced a remarkable recovery with turnover climbing to $328.32 million. This sharp increase of 81.59% indicates a renewed activity and demand in the FX market, likely driven by the interventions and policies aimed at stabilizing the naira.

The flat exchange rate suggests that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) efforts to maintain currency stability are taking effect, despite fluctuations in market liquidity.

Analysts have noted that maintaining the naira at this rate amid varying turnover levels points to a controlled foreign exchange environment, which is critical for investor confidence and economic planning.

The increase in FX turnover may be due to a combination of factors, including end-of-month financial settlements, increased inflows from foreign investments, and strategic measures by the central bank to ensure sufficient liquidity in the market.

Also, the appreciation and stability of the official market accompanied auctions of treasury and OMO bills.

Following the 295th meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the CBN, which led to an increase in the monetary policy rate (MPR) by 150 basis points to a new unprecedented 26.25%, the CBN offered a total of N508.98 billion during the Nigerian treasury bill (NTB) auction held on May 22, 2024, with subscription levels significantly surpassing the initial offer, highlighting the continued appetite for fixed-income securities amidst a volatile economic landscape. There was a subscription of N1.5 trillion, but only about N638.98 billion was allotted to the treasury bill investors.

The apex bank also raised a substantial N1.16 trillion from the OMO bill auction. This move forms part of the CBN’s efforts to control inflationary pressures and stabilize the naira amidst ongoing economic challenges.

The increase in FX turnover and the successful auctions of government securities are pivotal in the CBN’s broader strategy to maintain price stability and support economic growth.

By mopping up excess liquidity, the CBN aims to curb inflation, which has been a major concern for policymakers. The amount raised from the auctions is expected to help mitigate inflationary pressures by reducing the amount of money in circulation, thereby supporting the naira.

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