Cedi to remain under pressure

•  An amount of GH¢746.44 million was raised from the bond.

• An amount of GH¢746.44 million was raised from the bond.

The cedi could remain under pressure next week as Bank of Ghana forex auctions failed to meet a growing dollardemand by local businesses for their imports, analysts say.

The local currency has come under pressure since mid-January, relapsing to a previous record low of 4.3550 to the dollar at mid-morning yesterday compared to 4.3375 a week ago.

The Bank of Ghana said it sold $69 million to banks on Wednesday in renewed efforts to stabilise the cedi.    “The market is sending a clear signal about the inadequacy of dollar volumes being sold by the central bank … the cedi could remain under pressure in the week ahead if forex inflows do not improve,” analyst Joseph Biggles Amponsah of the Accra-based Dortis Research told Reuters.

Meanwhile, the naira is seen broadly stable on the parallel and official foreign exchange market next week asinternational money transfer agents sustain dollar sales to bureau de change operations.

The Nigerian local currency was quoted at 498 to the dollar on the open on the black market, broadly unchanged from 497 a dollar last week, while banks quoted the naira at 315 a dollar, but expected to close around 305 to the dollar the level it has traded at since August last year.

“Confidence is gradually returning to the forex market as a result of improved foreign exchange reserves, dollar sales by international money transfer agents and central bank assurance it will continue to support the local currency,” one trader told Reuters.

The central bank said on Tuesday it would continue to provide hard currency, with priority given to manufacturingindustries that need to import raw materials and spare parts.

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