NAIROBI, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The Nigerian naira is expected to appreciate on the black market after the central bank said it will offer some customers dollars at a preferential rate.
The Nigerian naira is expected to gain on the black market in the days ahead while it is likely to weaken on the official interbank market as the central bank starts selling dollars to some private individuals.
The central bank said on Monday it will offer dollars to individual buyers at 20 percent above the official rate in a move to ease pressure on the local currency, and close the gap between the official market and the black market.
The naira was quoted at 505 to the dollar on the black market on Thursday, firmer than 516 a dollar last week. It was stable on the official interbank window at 305.5 to the dollar.
The Kenyan shilling could weaken in the coming week due to end of the month demand from oil importers and manufacturers, traders said.
At 0835 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 103.40/60 to the dollar, compared with 103.55/75 at last Thursday’s close.
“We expect further easing as the end month cycle kicks in,” said a trader from a commercial bank.
Ghana’s cedi could stay at its current record low until next week when the new government presents its first budget and presents its plans to balance the country’s finances.
The currency weakened this month when the government announced it had uncovered contract arrears equivalent to $1.6 billion and a budget deficit around double the 2016 target of 5.25 percent of GDP.
It touched a low of 4.5850 to the dollar on Thursday, compared with 4.4600 a week ago, despite a fortnightly central bank dollar auction on Wednesday.
The Zambian kwacha is expected to continue trading with a bullish tone next week supported by corporate dollar conversions to pay salaries and other month-end obligations.
On Thursday, commercial banks quoted the currency at 9.5600 per dollar, slightly firmer than a close of 9.7000 a week ago.
“The local unit is expected to hold onto its gains in the interim,” the Zambian branch of Atlas Mara, BancABC said in a note.
The Ugandan shilling is forecast to be stable in the coming days due to flat demand for dollars while conversions by charities paying salaries could boost supplies.
Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,580/3,590, little changed from last Thursday’s close of 3,585/3,595.
“The economic slowdown means appetite for dollars will remain slow,” said David Bagambe, trader at Diamond Trust Bank.
The World Bank has lowered Uganda’s 2016/17 growth forecast to 5 percent from a previous projection of 5.5 percent, citing the impact of non-performing loans and insecurity in neighbouring South Sudan.
The Tanzanian shilling is expected to hold steady against the dollar in the coming days, helped by a slowdown in demand for greenbacks.
Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,235/2,240 to the dollar on Thursday, little moved from 2,230/2,240 a week ago.
“We do not expect to see much movement in the market next week. The shilling will likely trade in the same 2,230-2,240 range,” said Moses Kawiche, a treader at CRDB Bank. (Reporting by John Ndiso, Elias Biryabarema, Fumbuka Ng‘wanakilala, Chris Mfula, Kwasi Kpodo and Oludare Mayowa Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)