Photograph — Brookings Institute

Commercial banks in Nigeria are reducing dollar spending limits by their customers abroad amid the country’s fragile currency situation, caused by the coronavirus pandemic and a drop in international oil prices.

The move to curb dollar purchases is seen as a precautionary measure, considering banks may be experiencing a shortage of foreign currency available for them to sell to their customers due to the falling foreign exchange earnings. More details here.

Below is the Ventures Africa Weekly Economic Index, for the week ending 3rd of April 2020. This economic index gives you a glimpse into other recent activities in Nigeria’s economy as well as changes and prices that could affect the economy:

Nigerian Stock Exchange

Data released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as of April 3, 2020, showed that the NSE All-Share Index and Market Capitalization both depreciated by 3.51 percent to close the week at 21,094.62 and N10.994 trillion respectively. All other indices finished lower with the exception of NSE Oil/Gas while the NSE ASeM Index closed flat.

Top price gainers and decliners in the week under review:

Top five price gainers

Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Nig. Plc.

Livestock Feeds Plc.

Cadbury Nigeria Plc.

Berger Paints Plc.

11 Plc.

Top five price decliners

Nigerian Breweries Plc.

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated

Custodian Investment Plc.

Guinness Nigeria Plc.

Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc.

Meanwhile, the NSE last week sustained remote trading amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in line with the government’s restriction of all movements in Lagos and Ogun States as well as the federal capital, Abuja for an initial period of 14 days.

How did the Naira fare?

Picture credit:  PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images

The Nigerian currency depreciated against the dollar at the close of last week, trading at 388 Naira per dollar, a decline from the 381 per dollar recorded a week before.

How did the price of oil fare?

Brent oil price recorded a weekly surge at the close of last week. It saw out the week on the 3rd of April, 2020 at $33.86 per barrel, an increase from $27.92 a week earlier. But prices fell on Monday after negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Russia to jointly cut output were delayed, keeping oversupply concerns alive. International benchmark Brent dropped by as much as $3 in early Asian trading after OPEC, led by Riyadh, postponed the meeting to Thursday.

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