The naira exchange rate fell by 0.8 per cent or N1.3 to the United States dollar at the interbank market at the close of last week.
As a result it opens this week at N162.1/$ compared to N160.8/$ at which it opened last week.
At the official window, the naira remained flat at the two WDAS sessions last week, thus opening today at N155.87/$.
The domestic currency was also flat at the bureau de change where it closed at N164/$, same as the previous week. At the parallel market the naira gained 0.3 per cent to close at N164/$, compared to N164.5/$ the previous week.
Interbank lending rates eased 100 basis points to an average of 14.33 per cent last week, aided by improved liquidity.
Dealers said the market opened with a cash balance of about N14.6 billion on Friday, compared with a negative balance of N12.74 billion the previous week.
“We have inflows from repaid matured treasury bills of a net balance of about N50 billion and about N30 billion disbursal to some government agencies in the week, helping to lift market liquidity,” one dealer said.
Nigeria sold N95.56 billion in three-month and six-month treasury bills on Wednesday, while there was net cash inflow from matured bills.
Dealers said some lenders also preferred to take money from the central bank window, helping to ease pressure on the borrowing costs this week.
The secured Open Buy Back (OBB) rate eased to 13.50 per cent from 14.75 per cent last week, 1.5 percentage points above the central bank’s 12 per cent benchmark rate, and 350 basis points above the Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) rate.
“Interbank rates are expected to inch up next week by the time we start funding for foreign exchange and treasury bills purchases and NNPC (state-owned energy company) recall a portion of its deposit with some banks,” another dealer said.
NNPC supplies the bulk of foreign exchange traded on the interbank forex market and usually recalls part of the naira proceed to its account with the central bank to fund its obligations to the government.