Naira Down on Dollar Scarcity, Stocks Up

Nigeria's naira fell on the parallel market on Wednesday on strong demand for dollars from importers amid dwindling liquidity, while stock index climbed to 24,000 points for the first time in almost a month, Reuters reports.

The local currency eased to 318 to the dollar on the parallel market, having closed at 312 the previous day. At the official interbank window the naira was stable around 197.

"We have demand coming from importers (paying) ...their due obligations, while dollar supply has dried up," said Aminu Gwadabe, head of the association of bureau de change operators.

Africa's top crude exporter currency has been under pressure on the back of falling global oil price, with Nigeria's foreign exchange reserves down to a more than 11-year low.

The main stock exchange index gained 0.64 percent to 24,135 points, its highest since Jan 8, when it fell to 23,000 points from around 27,000.

Gains in the shares of petroleum firms Seplat and Mobil help lifted the market, rising between 4 percent and 5 percent.

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