Nigerian naira hits 5-1/2 month low

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Nigeria's naira extended losses against the US dollar on the interbank market on Tuesday, weakening to a 5-1/2 month low as foreign investors continued to sell off government bonds.

The unit traded at 162.56 naira to the dollar on Tuesday, after it touched an intra-day low of 162.75 naira. It closed 161.25 naira against the dollar the previous day.

The naira has been falling in recent weeks, despite interventions by the central bank meant to stabalise it, as dollar demand has mounted from fuel importers and foreign investors selling off bonds and repatriating their returns.

The central bank has directly sold dollars in the interbank market since last week, outside its bi-weekly foreign exchange auction, to calm the market, but it has so far not succeeded. - Reuters

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