WEEKAHEAD-AFRICA-FX- Traders expect Nigerian naira, Kenyan shilling to be steady

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LAGOS, Feb 7 (Reuters) – The Nigerian naira and Kenyan shilling are expected to be stable next week, while the Ugandan shilling and Zambian kwacha are seen firmer.
NIGERIA

The Nigerian naira is seen stable next week after it firmed against the U.S. currency this week as foreign investors bought naira to participate in a treasury auction, boosting dollar liquidity, traders said.

The naira was trading at 361 per dollar on the over-the-counter market, strengthening from 363 last week. At currency bureaus it was quoted at 361 and 306.20 on the official market, supported by the central bank.

Traders say foreign investors have shrugged off election risk to buy Nigerian treasuries partly to offset lower yields abroad after the U.S. central bank signalled a dovish stance on rates this year.
KENYA

The Kenyan shilling is seen stable against the dollar in the coming week due to inflows from diaspora remittances and offshore investors buying government debt, matching oil importer demand, traders said.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 100.00/20 per dollar, compared with 100.65/85 at last Thursday’s close.

“It’s still one-way traffic, there is a dollar glut in the market from diaspora remittances and interest in our government paper,” said a senior trader from one commercial bank.
UGANDA

The Ugandan shilling is seen firming on the back of hard currency inflows from offshore investors buying government debt, meeting with flat demand from importers and banks.

At 1056 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,660/3,670, compared to last Thursday’s close of 3,665/3,675.

“We anticipate some inflows from offshore people who might participate in next week’s Treasury auction,” said a trader at a leading commercial bank.

He said the shilling might oscillate between 3,650/3,670 against the dollar. The Bank of Uganda is due to sell Treasury bills worth 220 billion shillings ($60.11 million)on Feb. 13.
ZAMBIA

The kwacha is likely to firm next week due to increased hard currency sales by companies preparing to pay taxes which are due at the start and end of the coming week.

On Thursday, commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa’s second-largest copper producer at 11.8250 per dollar from a close of 11.9200 a week ago.

“The kwacha looks bullish next week because we have Pay As You Earn on Monday and Withholding Tax on Friday,” one senior commercial bank trader said, referring to the taxes.
TANZANIA

The Tanzanian shilling is expected to depreciate next week due to persistent demand for U.S. dollars from the energy and manufacturing sectors.

“There are no changes in the market right now, things are the same as last week. Last week we quoted the shilling at 2,360/2,385 and the demand of dollars is still high and we are not sure when will it stabilise unless the central bank intervenes,” a forex trader at one of the commercial banks in Dar es Salaam said on Thursday.

“If the situation remain the same as of now, I see the shilling depreciating next week to 2,370/2,395,” she added. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha in Lagos, John Ndiso in Nairobi, Biryabarema in Kampala, Chris Mfula in Lusaka and Nuzulack Dausen in Dar es Salaam Compiled by Nqobile Dludla in Johannesburg; Ediging by Andrew Cawthorne)

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