LUSAKA, April 12 (Reuters) – The Zambian and Tanzanian currencies are expected to trade on the back foot against the dollar in the coming week, while Kenya’s is likely to firm.
The kwacha is likely to remain under pressure against the dollar next week because of negative sentiment including market speculation that Zambia may have understated its foreign debt.
At 1000 GMT on Thursday commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa’s second-largest copper producer at 9.4800 against the dollar, down from 9.3800 a week ago.
“The kwacha will continue with its weakening trend due to gloomy sentiment surrounding Zambia,” the local branch of South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB) said in a note.
On Tuesday the World Bank cut Zambia’s economic growth forecasts for 2018 and next year because of the expected impact of poor rains.
The Tanzanian shilling is expected to remain on the back foot in the coming days, pressured by low foreign exchange supplies.
Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,262/2,267 to the dollar on Thursday, compared with 2,260/2,265 a week ago. “The shilling will likely continue to be under pressure next week and it could weaken slightly due to a slowdown in inflows of dollars amidst demand for the U.S. currency from importers,” a CRDB Bank trader said.
The Kenyan shilling could strengthen on increased inflows from the agricultural sector amid withheld demand from dollar buyers eyeing a better price, traders said.
Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 100.80/101.00 to the dollar, compared with 101.00/20 at last Thursday’s close.
“There is a bit more supply. We also have buyers holding back to see how much lower it will go before they step in and trigger demand,” said a senior trader from a commercial bank.
The Ugandan shilling is seen trading in a stable position because of reduced demand for dollars from foreign-owned firms that had been looking for hard currency to pay 2017 dividends.
At 1006 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,690/3,700, the same level as last Thursday’s close.
“Most of the firms that were buying for dividend payments have met their needs,” said Faisal Bukenya, head of treasury at Exim Bank.
The cedi is seen stable next week on offshore inflows for the settlement of a fresh seven-year domestic bond on April 16, analysts said.
The local currency has been under pressure since the beginning of the month but it appreciated marginally this week on increased offshore inflows. It was trading at 4.4350 on Thursday, compared with 4.4450 a week ago.
There is likely to be an uptick in dollar demand, but this is could be neutralised by the bond settlement and auxiliary inflows from offshore, said currency trader Raphael Adubila. (Reporting by Chris Mfula, Fumbuka Ngw’anakilala,John Ndiso, Elias Biryabarema and Kwasi Kpodo; Compiled by Chris Mfula; Editing by David Goodman)