WEEKAHEAD-AFRICA-FX: Nigeria’s to ease, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia currencies seen firmer

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Nigerian naira is seen weakening, traders said as Kenya’s shilling, Zambia’s kwacha and Ghana’s cedi  seen strengthening against the dollar in the next week to Thursday, while the

NIGERIA
Nigerian naira is seen weakening further on the black market even as the central bank moves to improve hard currency liquidity in both the parallel and official interbank
windows yield little results.
The local currency was quoted at 398 to the dollar on the black market on Thursday, compared with 380 per dollar last week, while commercial lenders are yet to put up any quote as 11.11 GMT. The local currency however closed at the official window at 306.20 to the dollar.
Traders said in spite of the improvement in dollar supply to the bureaux, demand pressure has increased due to speculators betting that the naira would still depreciate further in the
coming weeks

KENYA
The Kenyan shilling could strengthen in the week ahead due to foreign exchange inflows from charities and horticulture exporters outweighing subsiding dollar demand from
oil importers , traders said.
Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 103.20/40 per dollar, compared with 102.95/103.05 at last Thursday’s close.
“Once the oil importer demand is out of the way, we should see the shilling regain some ground,” said a trader from a commercial bank.

UGANDA
The Uganda shilling is seen weakening moderately in the coming days, as anticipated government spending triggers an uptick in demand for hard currency.
Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,605/3,615, little changed from last Thursday’s close of 3,610/3,620.
“If those (government) funds come through, we might see some dollar purchases,” David Bagambe, a trader at Diamond Trust Bank Uganda, said.

TANZANIA
The Tanzanian shilling is expected to remain range-bound in the coming days due to relatively slow trading conditions.
Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,233/2,238 to the dollar on Thursday, unchanged from a week ago.
“The outlook for next week is that of stability … we do not expect any big movement of the local currency due to the prevailing subdued market conditions,” said a trader at a
commercial bank in Dar es Salaam.

GHANA
Ghana’s cedi is seen extending its rally against sustained dollar inflows from offshore investors buying long-dated local securities, analysts said.
After touching record lows of 4.7420 to the dollar early this month, the cedi has steadily recouped, rallying to 4.2100 by mid-morning on Thursday compared to 4.3700 a week ago. It is down 0.37 percent since January, according to Reuters data.
“The resultant inflows and growing confidence in the economy is likely to extend the cedi’s gains recorded in the last four weeks.” Joseph Biggles Amponsah, analyst at the Accra-based Dortis Research said.

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ZAMBIA
The Kwacha is expected to maintain its bullish run against the US dollar next week supported by hard currency flows from companies looking to meet their mid-month tax obligations.
Commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa’s No.2 copper producer at 9.4500 per dollar from a close of 9.5700 per dollar a week ago.
“The local unit is expected to stand tall in the interim,” the Zambian branch of Atlas Mara, BancABC said in a market note.

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