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MPC: Falling Oil Prices, Inflation, Election Spending to Top Agenda

•  Probability of retention of existing rates high, says Rewane
By Festus Akanbi
As the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) begins its 243rd Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting tomorrow, some of the issues that will top the agenda include the sinking oil prices, marginal increase in the nation’s inflation figure for the month of February, election-induced liquidity in the system and the relative stability which the new regime in foreign exchange market has brought to the naira.
However, economic analysts, including Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company, Mr. Bismarck Rewane has ruled out any major upset in the existing rates. Rewane’s views were in tandem with those of the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive, Financial Market Dealers Association of Nigeria (FMDAN), Mr. Wale Abe, who maintained that no major policy shift may come out of tomorrow’s meeting.
Last week, crude oil prices took a roller coaster ride dipping down to a six-year low of $42.17 per barrel before bouncing back and closing the day at $44.66 per barrel. The current slide in crude oil price is being traced to the report that the US domestic crude stockpiles have risen to a record high. Stored supplies of crude oil in the U.S. are at the highest level in about 80 years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and production continues to grow. Demand is typically restrained at this time of the year as refiners process less crude while performing seasonal maintenance. READ MORE HERE

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