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Dollar Jumps to 7-Week High as June Fed Rate Hike Seen in Play

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Dollar

The dollar rose to a seven-week high after Federal Reserve meeting minutes boosted speculation that the central bank will raise interest rates as soon as June.

The U.S. currency extended gains against most of its major peers after the release of policy makers’ deliberations indicated they are moving closer to further tightening after raising rates for the first time in a decade last December. Emerging-market currencies slumped on the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates, with the Brazilian real, South Africa’s rand and the Russian ruble pacing declines.

“The greenback should be bid here,” said Bipan Rai, executive director of foreign-exchange strategy at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto. “The minutes suggest that the odds of a June hike or even a signal in June for a July hike are more likely than the market was prepared for.”

 The greenback has advanced for the past two weeks in its longest run of gains since January as traders boosted expectations for the U.S. central bank to raise borrowing costs. The currency has pared its 2016 loss to 3 percent amid comments from regional Fed presidents that at least two rate increases this year may be warranted.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the greenback versus 10 peers, climbed 0.8 percent as of 5 p.m. in New York, reaching the highest level on a closing basis since March 28. The U.S. currency added 0.9 percent to $1.1216 per euro and advanced 1 percent to 110.19 yen.

“This is really going to give the market some renewed confidence in the dollar,” said Lennon Sweeting, a corporate dealer in Toronto at the foreign-exchange transfer company USForex Inc. “We saw a couple of nice comments from the Fed, they recognize the fact that the market’s been wanting to hear a clear, concise message.”

Hedge funds reduced bets for the U.S. currency to weaken versus eight other currencies last week, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. After surging more than 20 percent against the euro in the past two years, strategists project the dollar staying near its current level of $1.12 per euro through year-end.

The likelihood of the Fed raising rates at its June 14-15 meeting more than doubled from Tuesday to 32 percent, while the chances of a move by September rose to 62 percent from 47 percent the previous day, according to data based on fed fund futures compiled by Bloomberg.

Fed officials “have been building the case for a potential June hike over the past few weeks, with more hawkish undertones in their speeches,” said Minh Trang, a senior foreign-exchange trader at Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, California. “They may not want to make the mistake of waiting too long, only to see the environment weaken and lose an opportunity to hike.”

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.

Forex

Naira Declines to N465 Against US Dollar on Black Market

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Naira Dollar Exchange Rate

Naira Falls to N465 Against US Dollar on Black Market

Nigeria’s economic uncertainties continued to weigh on the Nigerian Naira despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s forex sale resumption.

The local currency declined by N3 from N462 a US dollar to N465 on the black market even with over $58 million injected into the forex market through the bureau de change.

Against the British Pound, Naira depreciated by N5 from N595 to N600 on Friday while it dipped by N3 against the European common currency to N548, down from N545 it traded on Thursday.

A series of weak economic fundamentals and anti-people policy continued to hurt the nation’s economic outlook and investors’ confidence.

In a recent event, the Nigerian government simultaneously raised electricity tariffs, pump prices and foreign exchange rates in an economy that depends on imports for most of its supplies.

Also, with the unemployment rate at over 27 percent, inflation rate over 13 percent and the number of companies shutting downing operation rising on a daily bases, foreign investors and even local investors are now holding back on investments needed to support the nation’s weak foreign reserves and cushion the negative effect of COVID-19.

While the exchange rates have moderated slightly from COVID-19 peak, it remains close to COVID-19 record.

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Zenith Bank Joins Other Banks to Cap International Spend Limit at $100/Month

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Zenith Bank

Zenith Bank Caps International Spend Limit at $100 Per Month

Following persistent forex scarcity impacting the nation, Zenith Bank has joined other deposit money banks capping international spend limits.

In an e-mail to customers, the lender said “Please be informed that the monthly international spend limit for your Zenith Bank Naira Card has been reviewed to US$100 while the use of Zenith Bank Naira cards for international Automated Teller Machine cash withdrawals is still temporarily suspended.’

It added that this review is in response to change in Nigeria’s macroeconomic factors.

The bank, however, advised those with higher international spend requirements than the US$100 stipulated above to visit any Zenith branch and request a foreign currency debit or prepaid card “which are available in US Dollar, Pounds and Euro variants.”

This is coming a few weeks after UBA, GTBank, First Bank and others capped their international spend limits to $100 for similar reasons. However, Zenith’s decision was after the Central Bank of Nigeria commenced forex sale to the Bureau De Change Operators across the country.

 

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Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange Inflows Decline by 43.2% in May

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CBN Says Foreign Exchange Inflows Decline to $5.52bn in May

The total foreign exchange inflows into Nigeria in the month of May declined by 43.2 percent, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s report.

The report said the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted capital inflows during the month as the total foreign exchange inflows dropped to $5.52 billion.

It said “Inflows through the CBN and autonomous sources were negatively impacted.

“On a month-on-month basis, foreign exchange flows into the economy declined to $5.52bn in May 2020.

“The decline in inflow, relative to the level in April 2020, was attributed to the lower receipts from oil sources, which fell sharply by 55.2 per cent because of the continued fragility in global crude oil demand.

“Inflow through autonomous sources, particularly invisible purchases, declined by 7.0 per cent to $3.51bn, relative to the preceding month, while there was a 66.2 per cent fall in inflow through the CBN, which stood at $2.01bn in May 2020.”

However, foreign exchange outflows from the country declined by 23.9 percent to $2.50 billion in the month. Likely because of forex scarcity and the central bank forex rate adjustments that curbed outflows by foreign investors.

A break down of the report showed that outflow through the apex bank declined by 30.9 percent to $2.19 billion, below what was recorded in April.

But outflow through autonomous sources, mainly imports and Invisibles, rose by 152.2 percent to $0.32 billion. Higher than the amount reported for the month of April.

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