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Pound Jumps Amid Speculation U.K. Can Reach Single-Market Deal

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  • Pound Jumps Amid Speculation U.K. Can Reach Single-Market Deal

The pound rose as investors seized on the prospect of the U.K. retaining preferential access to the European Union’s single market after Brexit.

Sterling reached its strongest level in two months as Brexit Secretary David Davis said the U.K. would consider making contributions to the EU in order to secure the best possible access to the single market. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told the Times of Malta that Britain might be able to participate in the internal market, albeit at a cost. The pound pared its gain later in the European day.

The pound’s advance is evidence of how sensitive the currency is to officials’ comments about the nature of Britain’s relationship with the EU once it quits the bloc. Sterling is the worst-performing major currency since the U.K.’s June 23 referendum, dragged down by concern the nation is headed for a so-called hard exit where unfettered single-market membership is sacrificed for immigration controls.

“If the U.K. does stay in the single market, it’s very likely that sterling will go up,” said Neil Jones, head of hedge-fund sales at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in London. The comments “very much shift the pendulum away from hard to soft Brexit. Embedded within a soft Brexit is access to the single market one way or another.”

The pound climbed 0.5 percent to $1.2572 as of 4:40 p.m. London time, having reached the strongest level since Oct. 6. It’s down 16 percent since the EU vote. It appreciated 0.2 percent to 84.52 pence per euro.

The FTSE 100 Index of shares, which is dominated by companies that sell goods abroad and benefit from a weaker currency, fell 0.5 percent. U.K. government bonds declined with their euro-zone peers, pushing the 10-year gilt yield six basis points higher to 1.48 percent.

‘Essential’ Access

Tariff-free access to the EU is “essential” to food producers and retailers, chief executive officers including those from Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc, Dairy Crest Group Plc and J Sainsbury Plc wrote in a letter to The Times. The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimated in August that retaining single-market membership could be worth around 4 percent of gross domestic product by 2030, the equivalent of 75 billion pounds.

“This is the first time we can recall a senior EU official acknowledge the possibility of the U.K. having access to the internal market since Brexit,” said Derek Halpenny, European head of global markets research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., referring to Dijsselbloem’s comments.

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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