Nigerian central bank injects $323 mln, 18 mln yuan into currency market

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Chinese yuan and U.S. dollars are arranged for a photograph in Beijing, China, on Friday, April 2, 2010. Yuan forwards were poised for the biggest weekly gain in almost three months on mounting speculation China will loosen its grip on the currency after data showed an economic recovery is gathering pace. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

ABUJA – Nigeria’s central bank injected $323.5 million and 17.9 million Chinese yuan ($2.5 million) into the currency market on Friday in an effort to keep it stable and prevent shortages.

A central bank spokesman said the dollar intervention was for agricultural machinery and industrial raw materials, while the yuan was for yuan-denominated letters of credit.

He added that the bank would continue to ensure adequate liquidity in the market.

Traders have said importers are not willing to buy the dollar above the current range, which is partly helping to keep the naira stable as liquidity dries up from foreign inflows due to a fall in debt yields.

In the over-the-counter market the naira was quoted at between 362 and 362.50 this week, holding within this month’s range. The currency is quoted at 307 on the official market, supported by the central bank.

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