Lagos, Nigeria - Nigeria's external reserves continued its downward trend, falling by US$ 301 million to US$ 43.31 billion from US$ 43.61 billion in the first six days of 2014, the local VANGUARD newspaper reported Wednesday, quoting from the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
According to the paper, data from the website showed that the external reserves fell consistently from US$ 43.610 billion on 31 December, 2013, to US$ 43,308 billion on Monday 6 January, 2014, indicating a decline of 0.6 per cent.
It said that last year, the external reserves rose from US$ 45.98 billion in January to peak at US$ 48.85 billion before falling steadily to US$ 43.61 billion in December.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian currency, the Naira, depreciated marginally by two kobo at the first foreign exchange auction conducted by the CBN in 2014.
Results of the Retail Dutch Auction System (RDAS) session, conducted by CBN Tuesday, showed that the official exchange rate rose slightly to 155.72 Naira per dollar from 155.70 Naira at the last session held 16 December, 2013.
The depreciation was despite the US$ 349.86 million at the auction, up from US$ 399.98 million sold in the last auction of 2013 -- a depreciation of two kobo.
The Naira also depreciated at the interbank foreign exchange market by 39 kobo as the interbank exchange rate rose to 159.8 Naira per dollar from 159.41 Naira on Friday.
In 2013, the official exchange rate was relatively stable throughout the year, but the interbank market exchange rate rose and fell in reflection of demand situation in the market.