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The naira hit its weakest level on the black market in more than a week at 516 to the dollar on Thursday, as a central bank move to channel dollars to retail currency outlets failed to ease liquidity shortages, traders said.

The unit had been quoted at 510 last week before it dropped this week. On the official market, the naira ended at 314 per dollar, a level it has closed at for more than two months, supported by central bank interventions.

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The naira had been relatively stable on the black market after the bank asked international money transfer firms to sell dollars directly to bureau de change operators to boost liquidity and narrow the gulf with the official market.

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