February 15, 2018 / 2:05 PM / 3 months ago

WEEKAHEAD-AFRICA-FX-Zambian Kwacha seen gaining, Ugandan shilling losing

LUSAKA, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Zambia’s kwacha currency is expected to gain and the Ugandan shilling to come under pressure.

ZAMBIA

The kwacha is likely to gain against the dollar in the coming week as by investors buy the local currency to use in this year’s first bond auction, due next Friday.

At 1200 GMT on Thursday, commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa’s second-largest copper producer at 7.7800 per dollar, up from a close of 9.8000 a week ago.

“Dollar supply is likely to come from offshore as well as from domestic suppliers predominantly mining houses,” one senior commercial bank trader said.

UGANDA

The Uganda shilling is expected to weaken in coming days, undermined by demand from companies to pay dividends and the central bank’s easing of monetary policy.

At 1059 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,630/3640, a notch weaker than last Thursday’s close of 3,627/3,637.

“Most foreign-owned entities will be paying dividends next month, which means we could see them exert demand in the coming days,” said a trader at a leading commercial bank.

KENYA

The shilling is expected to trade in a narrow range against the dollar in the coming week, supported by a light import bill and recovery in tourism earnings, traders said.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 101.10/30 per dollar, compared with 100.80/101.00 at last Thursday’s close.

“We’re light on imports ... and that favors the current account,” one senior commercial bank trader said, adding that a recovery in tourism and less political tension would also help the shilling.

GHANA

After shedding its recent gains this week, the cedi is likely to remain steady on central bank support to match a growing demand by local importers, analysts said. After a rally last week before a five-year domestic bond sale, the cedi has fallen as corporate demand for dollars resumed. It was trading at 4.4850 to the dollar at 1035 GMT on Thursday compared with 4.4650 a week ago.

“The pair is expected to be repriced at 4.48-4.50 levels, consistent with regular demand and supply from fundamental economic activities, away from the ‘bond-inflow’ induced levels seen last week,” said Biggles Amponsah of Accra—based Northstar Home Finance.

TANZANIA

The Tanzanian shilling is expected to trade little changed against the dollar in the coming days, helped by subdued demand for dollars from major importers.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,253/2,258 to the dollar on Thursday, stronger than 2,255/2,260 a week ago.

“The shilling is expected to remain stable at same levels next week or could strengthen slightly due to month-end inflows of dollars,” said a trader at CRDB Bank. (Reporting by Chris Mfula, Elias Biryabarema, John Ndiso, Kwasi Kpodo and Aaron Maasho; compiled by Chris Mfula; editing by Larry King)

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