- Dollar Stable Following Weak U.S. Job Numbers
The U.S. dollar remained fairly steady against counterparts during Asian trading session on Monday despite the weak non-farm payrolls report released on Friday.
The dollar .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, was about 0.1 percent higher at 95.261, well off a four-week low of 94.084 hit on July 26.
Investor focus has shifted to the yuan after the People’s Bank of China on Friday made it more expensive to bet against the currency, which helped it rebound from a 15-month low against the greenback.
U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in July, but a drop in the unemployment rate suggested that the labor market conditions were tightening.
“We’re seeing pretty consistent dollar strength across the board. The theme is there,” said Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo branch manager at State Street Bank.
“Although Friday maybe didn’t hit the target when it comes to the non-farm payrolls, it was still a positive number. It’s a good and strong number. If you line that up with previous releases, you see a trend,” he said.
The Fed kept rates unchanged as widely expected last Wednesday, and gave an upbeat assessment of the world’s biggest economy.
The euro hit a 4-1/2-week low against the dollar on Monday.
The single currency traded at $1.15625 after touching as low as $1.1557, its lowest level since changing hands at $1.15275 on June 28.
The offshore yuan was nearly flat, trading at 6.846 yuan per dollar CNH=D3.
The yuan pulled from a 15-month low against the greenback on Friday after China’s central bank said it would require banks to keep reserves equivalent to 20 percent of their clients’ foreign exchange forwards positions from Monday.
The yen was barely changed against the dollar at 111.25 yen JPY= on Monday.
The yen had moved about 0.4 percent higher on Friday on worries about Sino-U.S. trade tensions after China proposed retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods such as liquefied natural gas and aircraft.
But State Street Bank’s Wakabayashi said the negative impact on markets from the trade tariff exchanges between the Washington and Beijing is not as acute it had been previously.
“Whenever there is an imbalance in the market in terms of uncertainty, the initial flight to safety is probably to the dollar, which is the preferred currency right now,” said Wakabayashi.
“We could extend that a bit to the yen, but definitely the dollar is receiving a lot of support,” he said.
Naira Gains N1 to N483 Against US Dollar as CBN Warned Speculators of Impending Doom
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday warned speculators and hoarders of the United States Dollar against creating artificial forex scarcity for personal gain.
Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said black market forex rates does not reflect the economic reality of the Nigerian Naira as that section of the forex is tainted with bribes and individuals looking to profit at the expense of the nation.
“We do not agree that the determining factor for our currency should be based on a market that is tainted, where people go to offer bribes,” he stated during a virtual monetary policy committee briefing in Abuja.
The Nigerian Naira gained N1 against the United States dollar to trade at N483 at the parallel market also known as the black market, up from N484 it traded on Monday.
Emefiele said “The black market is illegal where people do not provide documentation to support transactions. It is unfortunate and unfair for analysts to say Nigeria’s exchange rate is at 480 per dollar.”
The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) agreed with the central bank, saying speculators and currency hoarders are responsible for the wide forex rates. The association warned that speculators are going to lose money given that the apex bank has foreign reserves of $36 billion to support the local currency and meet forex demands.
The apex bank left the interest rate unchanged at 11.5 percent to further stimulate growth in the real sector and speed up the recovery process with cheaper loans. Other ratios were left unchanged as well.
Speaking on the rising inflation rate, Godwin Emefiele attributed the 14.23 percent increase in consumer prices to the rising pump price, the recent #EndSARS protest and structural policies.
Therefore, it looks like the apex bank will damn rising inflation for the first time to focus on economic productivity, new job creation and general growth.
The Naira CBN official rate remains $379 to a United States Dollar while it exchanged at N385 on the Investors and Exporters Forex Window on Tuesday.
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.
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