LAGOS, July 2 Nigeria's naira eased marginally against the U.S. currency on Wednesday after strong demand for the greenback countered the effect of dollar sales by some oil companies, dealers said.
The naira was 162.90 against the dollar at the close of trade, compared with 162.80 the previous day.
Traders said the local unit of Royal Dutch Shell, sold an undisclosed amount of dollars, its second sale this week, while Italy's Eni sold about $15 million toward the close of market.
"We expect the naira to strengthen in the near term because of the expectation of dollar sale by the NNPC (state-owned energy company) in a few days time," one dealer said.
NNPC, which sells hard currency to banks on a monthly basis, accounts for the bulk of dollar traded on the interbank in Africa's biggest economy.
The naira has traded within a tight range since last week, due to dollar sales by oil companies, supporting the local currency within a band of 162.85-162.90. (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Chijioke Ohuocha)