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)