The naira was flat against the U.S dollar on the interbank market yesterday, but weakened at the central bank’s bi-weekly auction after all the demand for the greenback was not met, traders said.
The naira closed at 153.80 to the dollar, equal to Tuesday’s close, though it had traded higher at 153.90 to the dollar mid-session after the central bank auction result showed a $176 million supply shortage and a slight depreciation of the naira Reuters reported.
The central bank sold $350 million at 151.35 to the dollar at its auction, short of the $475.6 million demanded and the $400 million sold at 151.01 to the dollar on Monday.
Traders said the market initially reacted to the unmet demand at the bi-weekly auction, but the naira later closed at the previous day’s figure due to sales of dollars by some lenders at the interbank market.
Local unit of ExxonMobil sold about $50 million to some lenders on Tuesday, which helped to calm the market and reduce the impact of the unmet demand at the central bank auction.