- RBA Leaves Rates Unchanged at 1.50 percent
The Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday left its interest rate unchanged at 1.50 percent, saying while the economy remained strong with a healthy labour market, wage growth remained low.
According to the central bank, improved global economy and the low unemployment rate in some advanced economies are supporting global commodity prices but Australia’s terms of trade are projected to decline over the next few years. This is because of the Chinese credit and steel policies predicted by most experts to hurt Australian exports.
Similarly, the apex bank expects wage growth to remain low for a while despite a healthy labour market. Meaning, the weak inflation is unlikely to pick up anytime soon, especially with the strong competition going on in the retail sector.
Retail sales grew less than expected in January, rising just 0.1 percent as weak wage growth and rising household debt continued to hurt household income.
The bank said the low-interest rates will support Australian economy and further reduce unemployment while gradually aiding inflation towards its 2 percent target.
“The Board judged that holding the stance of monetary policy unchanged at this meeting would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time,” the statement reads.
The Australian dollar gained slightly across the board, gaining 0.2 percent against the U.S dollar.
Naira Slides to N475 Against US Dollar on Black Market
Naira Trades at N475 Against US Dollar
Persistent dollar scarcity continues to hurt the value of the Nigerian Naira against its global counterparts across the nation’s forex segments.
The local currency declined to N475 to a US dollar on the parallel market, known as the black market. This represents a N1 decline from the N474 it traded on Thursday.
Against the British Pound, the Naira remained at N600. The same rate it exchanged on Friday. The local currency has lost N20 against the British Pound in the last three weeks amid rising unclear economic path.
The Naira declined by N5 against the Euro common currency to N550, down from N545 it sold on Thursday.
On the Investors and Exporters Forex Window, the local currency improved with the surge in turnover. Naira gained about N3 from N389 it exchanged against the US dollar on the I&E fx window last week to N386 on Friday.
Investors traded $92.22 million on Friday, up from the $18.83 million exchanged on Monday August 3, 2020.
Naira Plunges Against British Pound to N600 on Black Market
Naira Falls by N20 Against British Pound to N600
Economic uncertainties amid low oil prices weighed on the Nigerian Naira against its global counterparts.
The Naira plunged against the British Pound by N20 from N580 it exchanged two weeks ago on the black market to N600 on Thursday and remained at the same rate on Friday morning.
The local currency has remained under pressure since Coronavirus disrupted global economics and demand for global oil earlier in the year. Nigeria, an oil-dependent economy, was one of the nations affected by the low oil prices and disruption of global supply chain and logistics.
This coupled with a series of local challenges like the rising cost of servicing debt to revenue, weak manufacturing sector that depends on importation for most of its raw materials, unclear economic direction that deterred foreign investors and eventually weighed on the nation’s foreign direct investment and capital importation hurt the nation’s economic outlook and investment sentiment.
Against the Euro common currency, the Naira declined by N35 to N545 on Thursday, down from N510 it traded about three weeks ago.
This decline continues against the United States dollar as the local currency traded at N474 to a US dollar, down from N465 it was exchanged three weeks ago.
The inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria to support the local currency through sufficient dollar liquidity continues to impact the manufacturing sector and other key sectors that depend on importation for operations.
Also, the scarcity dictates the Naira exchange rate to its counterparts, especially after a recent report showed foreign investors are looking to access the US dollar to repatriate their funds.
Other factors, like the recent Shoprite announcement that it was pulling out of Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, due to falling revenue and challenging business environment compounded the nation’s woes.
Naira Declines Slightly on the Black Market to N474/$
Naira Drops Marginally on the Black Market to N474 Against US Dollar
Nigerian Naira declined marginally on Tuesday on the parallel market, popularly known as the black market.
The local currency declined by N1 to N474 per US dollar, down from the N473 it traded on Monday.
This was coming after Shoprite announced it would be exiting Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy. The announcement further damped the nation’s economic outlook amid the already heighten economic uncertainties.
Nigeria continues to struggle with low dollar availability after low oil prices and weak global demand for the commodity eroded the nation’s foreign revenue generation.
On the Investors and Exporters Forex window, the Naira remained pressured at N389 to a US dollar, better than the N389.25 it exchanged on Monday but more than the N381 stipulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Total turnover traded by investors rose from $18.83 million traded on Monday to $24.66 million on Tuesday.
Experts have said the series of bad news emanating from the country will continue to deter potential investors and hurt capital importation necessary to boost dollar liquidity.
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