LAGOS, March 31 Nigeria's naira currency held
steady against the dollar on the interbank market on Monday,
supported by sales of the U.S. currency by two major energy
The local unit closed at 164.95 to the dollar, the same
level it closed at on Friday.
The Nigerian unit of ExxonMobil sold $50 million,
while Royal Dutch Shell sold an undisclosed amount,
boosting dollar liquidity and helping to prop the local
Traders said there was demand for the dollar from investors
repatriating dividends, but the dollar sales by the oil
companies provided support for the naira.
"We hope to continue to see stability in the market in the
near term and a bit of appreciation early next week when NNPC -
the state-owned energy company - expects to sell dollars in the
market," one dealer said.
The local currency has sustained a stable outlook since last
week when the central bank hiked the cash reserves requirement
on private sector deposits at the end of its monetary policy
(Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; editing by Keiron Henderson)