(Adds detail, background)
BAKU, Sept 8 Azerbaijan's central bank conducted
on Thursday $100 million in foreign exchange market
interventions for the first time since mid-July to support the
struggling manat currency.
The manat traded at 1,6403 against the dollar on Thursday
, 0.6 percent weaker than at the beginning of the month
and hovering near its lowest since mid-March.
Spiking demand for dollars has been dragging the currency of
the central Caucasus republic down, prompting an increasing
number of banks to halt or substantially limit forex sales.
Twice-weekly sales of foreign currency by the SOFAZ state
oil fund of $50 million per auction have not been enough to meet
demand, which has recently exceeded the offered volume by nearly
Demand the auction on Thursday reached $402.56 billion.
(Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing
by Maria Kiselyova and Jack Stubbs)