African Currencies Week Ahead: Kenyan, Tanzania Units To Remain Steady, Uganda’s Shilling Up

NAIROBI: The Kenyan and Tanzanian shillings were expected to remain steady in the coming week against the US dollar, while Uganda's shilling was seen to be firming.

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KENYA – The Kenyan shilling is expected to remain steady due to subdued demand for dollars amid a slow market, traders said.

At 0615 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 107.85/108.05, compared with last Thursday’s close of 107.85/108.0.

“For the whole week, the market has (been) at the same levels. It’s just a very slow market and I see it remaining steady next week,” said a trader at one of the commercial banks.

UGANDA – The Uganda shilling is seen trading with a moderately firming tone in the coming days as big firms reserve some of the local currency cash to meet mid-month tax obligations.

At 1028 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,540/3,550, compared to last Thursday’s close of 3,555/3,565.

“Mid-month taxes are on the horizon so I would anticipate we’ll see mostly tepid activity on the demand side,” said an independent foreign exchange trader in the capital Kampala.

He said the shilling will mostly trade in the 3,520-3,540 range in the coming days.

NIGERIA – Nigeria’s naira is seen range-bound on the spot market in the coming week on the hope that rising oil prices could boost the country’s foreign exchange supplies in the wake of dollar shortages, traders said.

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The currency traded at 410.65 naira on the spot market on Thursday, to stay within a range of between 407 naira and 412 naira it has traded at since last month.

However, it remained unchanged on the black market at 503 naira, a more than three-and-half year low it hit last week on the informal market.

ZAMBIA – The kwacha is expected to continue trading within the same range with a slight bias towards depreciation against the dollar next week as hard supply remains tight amid rising demand. On Thursday, commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa’s second largest copper producer at 22.6200 per dollar, almost the same level at which it closed a week ago at 22.6100.

TANZANIA – Tanzania’s shilling is expected to hold steady next week with inflows from agricultural exports balancing the demand for the US dollar from manufacturing and oil importers.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,314/2,324, the same levels recorded a week earlier.

– Reuters

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