Kwacha likely to depreciate again next week ZANACO

Oct 8 (Reuters) – Zambia’s kwacha may depreciate next week due challenges including electricity shortages and tumbling copper prices, while Ghana’s cedi is expected to rally due to expected inflows from an annual dollar loan to fund cocoa purchases.

ZAMBIA

The kwacha may depreciate next week due challenges including electricity shortages and tumbling copper prices, which have put pressure on Africa’s No.2 producer of the metal.

At 1201 GMT commercial banks quoted the kwacha 11.8900 per dollar from 11.8800 a week ago.

“We are of the view that due to fundamental weaknesses in the economy, the Kwacha could weaken in the medium term,” Zambia National Commercial bank said in a note on Thursday.

GHANA

The cedi is expected to rally towards 3.5 against the dollar in the next week due to expected inflows from a dollar loan taken out each year by the government to fund cocoa purchases and a $1 billion Eurobond, traders said.

The cedi, which rebounded strongly in July after slumping nearly 30 percent in the first half of the year, was trading at 3.8392 at 1254 GMT on Thursday.

The government launched a Eurobond at 10.75 percent coupon rate on Wednesday. It also signed a $1.8 billion loan deal in Paris in September for 2015/16 crop purchases. Both these factors should support the currency in the months ahead.

“Now that the Eurobond money is raised, we would expect the cedi to record very significant gains on the market, even before the dollars come to the market, as a result of short selling,” said Joseph Biggles Aponsah, of Dortis Research in Accra.

“The gains will be largely fuelled by the portion of the proceeds that will be exchanged for domestic settlements,” he said.

KENYA

The shilling is expected to trade in a tight band next week with a bias for strengthening on the back of lower demand for dollars and tight liquidity.

The shilling was trading at 103.05/25 per dollar on Thursday, up from 104.40/50 at last Thursday’s close.

The shilling rose to a high of 102.90 earlier in the week and traders said it would push to breach that level.

“In the coming days it should try and break that driven by tight liquidity and subdued demand,” said a trader at a commercial bank, adding importers were waiting to see how far the shilling will strengthen.

UGANDA

The Ugandan shilling is forecast to trade rangebound over the next week, as players await a policy rate decision that is expected to give the currency a clear direction.

At 1133 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,675/3,685, stronger than last Thursday’s close of 3,685/3,695.

“All focus in the market will be on the rate decision, until then activity on both sides will likely be muted,” said Ahmed Kalule, trader at Bank of Africa.

He said the shilling will probably oscillate between 3,665-3,695 ahead of Bank of Uganda (BoU) policy rate decision due on October 15.

NIGERIA

The naira is seen slightly down in the parallel market and stable at official forex exchange market next week as the central bank continue to maintain its tight control to conserve reserves, while imports stocks for forthcoming Christmas sales.

The local currency was trading at 197.5 to the dollar on the official interbank market on Thursday, weaker than 196.5 a dollar last week after the central bank adjusted its peg rate this week. But the naira weakened at the parallel market to 225 to the dollar from 222 a dollar last week on strong demand from some importers.

“We expect to see further depreciation of the naira in the coming weeks as more importers stocks ahead of the Christmas sales,” one trader said. The local currency remains pegged at 197 to the dollar at the official market, while central bank said the naira is appropriately priced at that level.

TANZANIA

The Tanzanian shilling is expected to remain stable or strengthen slightly against the U.S. dollar in the days ahead, buoyed by a slowdown in demand for greenbacks ahead of a general election later this month.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,165/2,175 to the dollar on Thursday, unchanged from a week ago.

“The shilling is expected to hold steady or appreciate slightly against the dollar because of a slowdown in business activity as the Oct. 25 presidential and parliamentary elections approach. Liquidity tightness in the shilling is also supporting the local currency,” said Theopistar Mnale, a dealer at TIB Development Bank. (Reporting by Duncan Miriri, Elias Biryabarema, Oludare Mayowa, Matthew Mpoke Bigg, Chris Mfula and Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Edith Honan)

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