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Nigeria: Naira drops further on official and unofficial markets to hit record lows

In this Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, file photo, a money changer counts Nigerian naira currency at a bureau de change, in Lagos, Nigeria.   -  
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Sunday Alamba/AP


Nigeria's currency naira on Monday fell to record lows on both the official and unofficial markets on while stocks posted their biggest one-day fall in more than a year.

The latest comes as Africa's largest economy experiences crippling dollar shortages though the country's apex bank chief Governor Olayemi Cardoso has said that foreign exchange liquidity is improving.

The Naira dropped to 1,712 naira per dollar in late trades on the official market and to around the same level on the unofficial market after extending losses according to a Reuters report.

Last Thursday, data showed that the country's inflation rate had accelerated further in January, reaching almost 30% in annual terms, driven by soaring food costs.

On the stock exchange, stocks on Nigeria's All-Share Index posted their single biggest fall since Oct. 2022 when they fell 3.15% on Monday after banking, consumer goods and industrial shares dropped.

Cardoso has hiked open market rates to draw investors to bills which had lost their shine to equities as inflation climbed, but treasury rates still lag the benchmark policy rate and the fall in the naira means yields would have to rise further.

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