The Nigerian naira continued its upward trajectory against the United States dollar on Thursday, marking a gain of N18 to close at 1,382/$ at the official market, as reported by the Presidency. This surge came alongside a stern warning from the Presidency to currency speculators, cautioning against undermining the national currency, with a promise of consequences for those engaging in such activities.

The naira’s upward momentum follows significant gains recorded a day earlier in both the official and parallel foreign exchange markets, with the currency closing at N1,400/dollar on Wednesday in the black market.

According to a summary of the FX trading auction, the naira appreciated by 1.3 percent, attributed to increased dollar supply at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market, as detailed by data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited.

Thursday’s trading saw the intraday high close at N1,598 per dollar, surpassing the previous day’s closing rate of N1,620, while the intraday low strengthened to N1,300/$, up from N1,350/$1 recorded the previous day.

Market players supplied a total of $288.47 million, marking a 7.46 percent increase from the $268.29 million recorded on Wednesday, up from $195.13 million at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market.

In recent weeks, the naira has seen a remarkable gain of N500 against the dollar from its record low earlier this year at the unofficial market, attributed to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s efforts to boost confidence in the FX market.

The Central Bank of Nigeria announced on Wednesday that it had successfully resolved all valid foreign exchange backlogs, clearing obligations amounting to $7 billion, as pledged by Governor Olayemi Cardoso. Hakama Sidi Ali, CBN’s acting director of corporate communications, conveyed this information in a statement, emphasizing the importance of clearing the FX backlog to enhance credibility and confidence in the Nigerian economy.

Meanwhile, Bayo Onanuga, the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, advised currency traders speculating on foreign exchange to sell off their dollar holdings promptly, as the naira is expected to appreciate further in the near future.

The naira’s recent gains reflect a shift in market dynamics, with speculators beginning to offload their dollar stocks amid reduced demand and increased CBN interventions aimed at curbing speculation and stabilizing the currency.