The currency of Africa’s biggest economy and crude producer fell 0.6 percent to 203 per dollar by 4:12 p.m. in Lagos, extending its loss since the end of January to 7.6 percent, the most since Dec. 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The naira is the worst performer this month among 24 African currencies tracked by Bloomberg.
“The postponement of the elections was negative for the naira,” Ridle Markus, a strategist at Barclays Plc’s South African unit, said by phone from Johannesburg. “I’m not convinced the troubles are over. We have the naira on a gradual path to 220 by the end of the year.”
Nigeria’s currency depreciated 20 percent since June as oil prices declined almost 45 percent. Investor confidence received a further blow when officials delayed the presidential election by six weeks until March 28, saying the army needed more time to recapture areas in the north east under the control of Boko Haram militants.
The naira dropped to a record 206.32 on Feb. 12, the week after the delay was announced. The central bank introduced trading restrictions a day later to reduce volatility. While that helped pare losses, the reduction in foreign-exchange liquidity increased investor concern about the ability to exit local positions, according to Standard Chartered Plc.
January 21, 2015 He added that "The currency is headed to 220 ... and Emefiele's finger in the dyke strategy is about to be overwhelmed by a tsunami." @Reuters