July 7, 2020 / 5:09 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Nigeria's naira eases 5.5% as central bank moves to unify FX rates

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By Chijioke Ohuocha

ABUJA, July 7 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s naira eased 5.5% on the official market on Tuesday, after the central bank sold dollars to lenders at a lower rate, bowing to pressure from international lenders to unify its multiple exchange rates.

The currency weakened to 380.50 per dollar in off-market trades, from its previous 360.50 close on Monday, traders said.

No quotes for the naira were available on the official market during regular trading for the second straight session, Refinitiv Eikon data showed, after the central bank last week depreciated the currency at an auction.

The central bank, Nigeria’s main forex supplier, asked lenders on Friday to bid for dollars at 380 naira per dollar, 5.3% above its official rate, in a sign it wanted to unify rates.

The naira traded at 387.70 on the over-the-counter spot market, widely used by investors and importers, while it was quoted weaker at 460 on the black market.

A central bank spokesman did not respond to a call and text message seeking comment. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Additional reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Gareth Jones and Alex Richardson)

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