April 14, 2014 / 3:10 PM / in 4 years

Nigerian naira trades flat against U.S. dollar

LAGOS, April 14 (Reuters) - Nigerian naira traded flat against the U.S. dollar on Monday as lenders sold dollars on the interbank market to improve liquidity, shoring up the weakening local currency, dealers said.

The naira had initially weakened to 161.30 in mid-day trade before some lenders started to sell the greenback on behalf of offshore clients participating the bond market. In addition, the local unit of Addax sold $10 million.

The move helped the naira recover to close flat at 161.05 naira, compared with Friday’s close of 161 naira.

“We don’t expect any major move in the naira this week as demand slows and offshore dollar flows into the market,” one dealer said, noting that the unit could trade around 160-161.50 naira throughout the week.

The naira has hovered around 160.90-161 over the past week with renewed interest from offshore investors in Nigeria’s debt. Also, the state-owned energy firm NNPC sold large amounts of dollars to increase liquidity. (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Chijioke Ohuocha, Larry King)

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