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Dollar Rises on U.S. Rate Speculation

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  • Dollar Rises on U.S. Rate Speculation

The dollar climbed for a seventh day against the yen and held near a two-week high versus its major peers as economic data and comments from Federal Reserve officials revived speculation about an interest-rate increase in 2016.

The U.S. currency posted its longest winning streak versus its Japanese counterpart since March. Key jobs numbers at the end of this week are forecast to show a pickup in hiring in the world’s largest economy, while Fed Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans told reporters in Auckland today that one rate increase by year-end is likely if data continue to improve.

An index of the U.S. currency jumped the most since mid-September on Tuesday after fellow official Jeffrey Lacker urged the central bank to tighten policy to stem a likely uptick in inflation.

“The dollar remains supported by expectations of a Fed rate hike,” said Viraj Patel, a London-based foreign-exchange strategist at ING Groep NV. “Fed talk has been relentlessly hawkish in the past couple of weeks, so much so it’s been hard for markets to ignore. Markets are now looking for the data to validate this.”

The yen slipped 0.2 percent to 103.12 per dollar as of 6:40 a.m. New York time in its seventh day of losses, while the euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.1224.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which measures the currency against 10 major peers, was little changed as of 10:35 a.m. in London, a day after it climbed 0.6 percent to the highest on a closing basis since Sept. 20.

‘Compelling’ Case

Evans, who’s not a voting member on the Federal Open Market Committee until next year, said the U.S. central bank may raise the benchmark interest rate as soon as next month. Fed Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said Monday that the case for an increase is “compelling.”

Traders will get more clues on the likely path of U.S. rates later in the day when reports on employment, manufacturing and services are released. The probability of a hike by December rose to 61 percent, from 51 percent at the start of last week.

“Those who had become doubtful of a rate increase this year are now paring their bearish view somewhat,” said Takao Hattori, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. in Tokyo.

“It seems clear the Fed wants to lift rates before the end of this year.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Naira

Naira Plunges to Record Low of N422/US$1 at Official Market

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Naira Dollar Exchange Rate - Investors King

The Nigerian Naira extended its decline to N422 to a United States Dollar at the official forex market, the investors and exporters forex window managed by the FMDQ Group.

Naira opened the day at N413.50 to a US Dollar before plunging to as low as N436 at the spot forex market and N446 at the forward market. The local currency eventually closed the day at N422.07 per US Dollar.

Investors at the window traded $141.94 million during the trading hours of Thursday.

The decline was after Vice President Osinbajo asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to rethink its current forex policy and allow the Naira to reflect market conditions. This, the Vice President said will help close the current gap that exists between the official rate and black market rate.

Media outlets had interpreted the Vice President position as a call for further devaluation of the Nigerian Naira. However, in a statement signed by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Akande explained that Osinbajo is simply calling for a single forex rate to dislodge the activities of speculators and hoarders at the various unregulated black market.

He added that the 40 percent or N160 arbitrage difference between the official rate of N410 and N570 offered at the black market will continue to encourage corruption in the forex market.

“For context, the Vice President’s point was that currently the Naira exchange rate benefits only those who are able to obtain the dollar at N410, some of who simply turn round and sell to the parallel market at N570. It is stopping this huge arbitrage of over N160 per dollar that the Vice President was talking about. Such a massive difference discourages doing proper business, when selling the dollar can bring in 40% profit!

“This was why the Vice President called for measures that would increase the supply of foreign exchange in the market rather than simply managing demand, which opens up irresistible opportunities for arbitrage and corruption.”

At the black market, traders exchanged Naira at N565 to a United States Dollar on Thursday.

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Naira

Osinbajo Explains Why Forex Policy Should Discourage Arbitrage and Corruption

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Naira Exchange Rates - Investors King

Following Vice President Yemi Osinbajo suggestions that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should rethink its present forex policy that encourages arbitrage and corruption and allow the Nigerian Naira to reflect market realities that were misconstrued as devaluation by the media, the Vice President has now come out to clear the air that he is not calling for a devaluation of the embattled Naira but to close the arbitrage gap of 40 percent gain that existed between CBN rate of N410/US$1 and the black market rate of N570.

In a statement released by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, the Vice President position was that the current Naira exchange rate benefits only those who are able to access the US Dollar at N410, “some of who simply turn round and sell to the parallel market at N570. It is stopping this huge arbitrage of over N160 per dollar that the Vice President was talking about. Such a massive difference discourages doing proper business, when selling the dollar can bring in 40% profit!,” the statement reads.

It continues “This was why the Vice President called for measures that would increase the supply of foreign exchange in the market rather than simply managing demand, which opens up irresistible opportunities for arbitrage and corruption.

“It is a well known fact that foreign investors and exporters have been complaining that they could not bring foreign exchange in at N410 and then have to purchase foreign exchange in the parallel market at N570 to meet their various needs on account of unavailability of foreign exchange. Only a more market reflective exchange rate would ameliorate this. With an increase in the supply of dollars the rates will drop and the value of the Naira will improve.

“The real issue confronting the economy on this matter is how to improve the supply of foreign exchange, but this will not happen if we do not allow mechanisms like the Importers and Exporters window to work. If we allow this market mechanism to work as intended, we will find that the Naira will appreciate against the dollar as we restore confidence in the system.”

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Naira

Dollar Rate to Naira Today at Official Forex Window

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Naira Dollar Exchange Rate - Investors King

The Dollar rate to Naira closed 0.10 percent lower on Wednesday at the official forex window despite supply rising by over 100 percent.

Naira dipped at the official forex exchange window to N414.73 against the United States Dollar on Wednesday, down from N414.30 it closed on Tuesday.

The Dollar rate to Naira opened the day at N414.33 before dropping to as low as N415.20 during the trading hours of Wednesday. Investors traded $266.32 million on Wednesday, against $122.15 million exchanged on Tuesday.

At the unregulated forex section, the black market, the Naira was exchanged at N565.00 and N568.00 to a US$ on Wednesday in Abuja.

In Uyo,  forex dealers said the Naira exchanged at N580 to a U.S dollar N580.00 due to increase in demand they experienced on Wednesday.

“We bought at N570.00 and sold at N572.00 per $1 on Tuesday, but today, we sold at N578.00 and even N580.00 at some point because the demand was much and people were selling as they see deemed fit, ” the anonymous dealer stated.

However, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s exchange rates remained largely unchanged as shown below.

Central Bank of Nigeria’s Exchange Rates

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