Nigeria’s naira currency closed flat against the dollar on the interbank market on Wednesday in thin trade in which two energy companies made dollar sales, traders said.
The local currency closed unchanged at 199.9 to the dollar, the same level at which it closed on Tuesday.
Unit of Royal Dutch Shell sold an undisclosed amount of dollars to some lenders, while Brass LNG sold $600,000 in the market, providing some liquidity support but not enough to boost the naira value.
The central bank had set its intervention rate at 196.8/197.8 to the dollar on Wednesday, while lenders are still awaiting a decision on dollar sale by the bank.
The currency of Africa’s top crude exporter has been trading within a band of 198-200 since last week due to support from dollar sales by some energy companies who want local currency for month-end domestic obligations.
“The market remains subdued because of low level of dollar flows,” one dealer said. “We see the naira trading within the present band in the near term till after the election.”
Nigeria plans to hold its presidential election on March 28 and states on April 11 after postponing them last month.