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WEEKAHEAD-AFRICA-FX-Kenyan shilling awaits supreme court's vote ruling
August 24, 2017 / 1:44 PM / 2 months ago

WEEKAHEAD-AFRICA-FX-Kenyan shilling awaits supreme court's vote ruling

NAIROBI, Aug 24 (Reuters) - The next direction for the Kenyan shilling will depend on a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court on the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta in an Aug. 8 vote.

KENYA

The Kenyan shilling will take its cue from the Supreme Court, which is expected to hear and issue its verdict on a petition brought by opposition leader Raila Odinga against Kenyatta’s re-election to a second term.

At 1130 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 103.15/25 per dollar, barely moved from last Thursday’s close of 103.25/45.

The shilling firmed to a two-month high against the dollar after Kenyatta won with a margin of 1.4 million votes. The court will either uphold the outcome or overturn it. If it chooses to overturn the result, another vote must be held in 60 days.

NIGERIA

The Nigerian naira is expected to be stable in the coming week as investors seek to fill their dollar requirements from the official window, reducing pressure in other market segments.

The local currency was quoted at 361.54 per dollar on the investor forex window on Thursday, around the same level as last week. On the black market, the local currency was trading at 370 to the dollar, weaker than 367 a dollar last week.

“We expect that some of the demand that drove down the naira this week would have been taken care of, and the market will stabilise around the present level next week,” a senior currency trader told Reuters.

GHANA

Ghana’s cedi is seen stable due to the central bank’s infusion of dollars into the interbank market through regular sales.

The local unit was trading at 4.44 to the dollar by mid-morning on Thursday, barely moved from 4.38 a week ago and down 5 percent since January.

“The central bank has steadily been in the market this week with decent support and we expect that to continue amid improving corporate forex liquidity, especially from the mines,” currency analyst Bradford Baidoo said.

UGANDA

The Ugandan shilling is expected to remain stable in coming days as subdued consumer demand trims importer appetite for dollars.

At 0954 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,595/3,605, unchanged from last Thursday’s close.

“The general sentiment is that consumer spending is weak and that is impacting importer activity,” said David Bagambe, trader at Diamond Trust Bank. He said the local currency would change hands at around 3,600 against the greenback.

ZAMBIA

The Zambian kwacha will likely hold firm against the dollar next week, supported by increased demand for the local currency as companies prepare to pay salaries and other month-end obligations.

At 0652 GMT on Thursday, commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa’s No.2 copper producer at 9.0000 per dollar from 9.0050 a week ago.

“The local unit is expected to be buoyant in the interim as corporates convert hard currency for month-end kwacha obligations,” BancABC, the local branch of Atlas Mara, said in a note.

TANZANIA

The Tanzanian shilling could appreciate marginally in the days ahead, buoyed by expected inflows of dollars from exporters, amid subdued demand by importers.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,240/2,245 to the dollar on Thursday, a tad down from 2,234/2,244 a week ago.

“We expect the shilling to strengthen slightly next week on the back of month-end inflows as companies look to offload dollars to meet salary and tax obligations,” said a trader at Commercial Bank of Africa Tanzania. (Reporting by John Ndiso, Oludare Mayowa, Chris Mfula, Kwasi Kpodo, Elias Biryabarema and Fumbuka Ng‘wanakilala; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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