The euro hit a two-week high on Thursday after the president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi left interest rates unchanged and said “no need for extra stimulus for the time being”.
The European Central Bank cut 2018 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast to 1.6 percent from previous 1.7 percent.
The decision to leave rates on hold was expected by almost all 70 analysts polled by Reuters but a sizable minority also expected an extension of the asset purchas program.
The euro gained 0.7 percent on the day to hit $1.1316 after the policy statement, its strongest since Aug. 26. The dollar also hit a two-week low of 94.514 against a basket of major currencies.
“The bank does not mind holding back with respect to (using) more aggressive measures, but the (bigger) question is how long they can afford to wait given that they are very late in the game of QE,” said ThinkMarkets analyst Naeem Aslam.
Traders expected relatively little from a news conference by ECB chief Mario Draghi beginning at 1230 GMT.
“The bar is very, very high for Draghi to be able to deliver any sort of dovish surprise here,” said ING currency strategist Viraj Patel, from London. “It’s really difficult to see him driving the euro lower.”
“Our idea is that it’s going to be a repeat of what we saw in May, with a Draghi disappointment – that’s the balance of risks,” he added.
The euro is barely 3 percent weaker against the dollar than when the bond-purchase program was first announced, in January 2015, and it is up almost 4 percent this year.
The yen edged up 0.2 percent against the dollar to 101.62 yen, clinging to gains of almost 3 percent made in the last four days, after a Bank of Japan deputy governor gave few fresh clues on whether the central bank will expand its monetary stimulus this month.
Analysts said the comments by BOJ Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso seemed similar in tone to remarks by BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda earlier this week, which acknowledged the costs of the BOJ’s aggressive stimulus.
“The main message doesn’t seem all that different. The general tone of weighing the costs and benefits were in Governor Kuroda’s comments as well,” said Shinichiro Kadota, senior FX and yen rates strategist for Barclays in Tokyo.
Data showing that China’s imports unexpectedly rose in August for the first time in nearly two years helped lend support to the Australian dollar, which rose half a percent to hit a three-week high of $0.7716 .
Bureaux De Change Association Warns Against Hoarding of US Dollar, Says Speculators will Lose
The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) on Sunday warned currency speculators and hoarders of impending losses if they do not desist from creating bogus foreign exchange rates for personal gain.
In a statement titled, “ABCON warns speculators will lose money as CBN has enough reserves to fund market, defend naira”, the association said speculators and hoarders are taking a huge risk as the Central Bank of Nigeria has enough liquidity to defend the Naira and maintain stability against global foreign counterparts.
This is coming few days after the local currency plunged to N484 to a United States dollar and N620 against the British Pound at the black market due to the rising demand and persistent scarcity that most hoarders interpreted as lack of financial muscle on the part of the central bank, especially if the nation’s falling foreign reserves is factored in.
However, ABCON said with about $36 billion foreign reserves, the Central Bank of Nigeria has the necessary means to punish speculators and hoarders they described as enemies of the nation.
President of ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, explained that the central bank is working to unify the nation’s foreign exchange rates and eliminate past challenges that have made market determined forex rates almost impossible.
He said “I think that the CBN by pushing the official foreign exchange rate from N306 to N379 to the dollar is in line with market demand.
“It has also helped to narrow the official-parallel market rates gap that formed the basis of ridiculous speculations among unpatriotic forex dealers and spectators.”
Gwadabe, however, advised the Federal Government to improve security surveillance at the nation’s land borders to checkmate illegal foreign currency cash deals.
He also asked the central bank to raise liquidity ratio of bureau de change operators to discourage dollar holdings.
Forex Scarcity Plunges Naira to N620 Against British Pound
Naira Exchanges at N620 to a British Pound at Black Market
Lingering foreign exchange scarcity has plunged the Nigerian Naira to a record-low of N620 against the British Pound at the black market.
The declined by a record N14 from the N607 it exchanged to a single British Pound on Thursday to N620 on Friday, signaling rising demand for forex amid persistent scarcity.
Experts have attributed the surge in demand to the usual push for the end of the year sales by importers and businesses looking to close the sales gap created by the COVID-19 lockdown.
The local currency plunged against global counterparts by the most in recent months on Friday. The Naira declined by N13 against the European common currency to exchange at N570.
Similarly, the Naira lost another N4 against the United States dollar to exchanged at N484, further down from N480 it was sold on Thursday.
Experts are predicting further decline for the Nigerian Naira, largely due to the weak macro fundamentals, overexposure to crude oil uncertainty and US Dollar.
US Dollar Gains Against the Nigerian Naira to US$/N480
The United States Dollar continues its bullish run against the Nigerian Naira on the black market on Friday.
The American Dollar gained N5 against the Nigerian Naira to exchange at US$1 to N480 across key black markets in Nigeria.
The US Dollar has been on a bullish run since COVID-19 pandemic plunged oil prices and distrupted Nigeria’s foreign revenue generation at a time global supply chains were grounded and economies shut to curb the spread of ravaging COVID-19.
The Central Bank of Nigeria devalued the Naira twice to accommodate the nation’s new reality and ease pressure on the weak foreign reserves, still rising capital flight among foreign investors looking to exit the economy and weak foreign direct investment impedes the apex bank’s ability to service the economy with enough US dollar.
Therefore, persistent scarcity due CBN’s failure to supply enough liqudity in an economy that depends on import for almost 90 percent of its consumption plunged the Naira value in recent months.
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