January 25, 2018 / 1:43 PM / 6 months ago

WEEKAHEAD-AFRICA FX-Nigerian naira likely to edge up in the week ahead

NAIROBI, Jan 25 (Reuters) - The Nigerian naira is expected to edge up in the week ahead while the Kenyan shilling could come under slight pressure from importers seeking dollars.

NIGERIA

The Nigerian naira is expected to inch up next week due to tepid dollar demand, traders said.

Traders said the naira could firm to 359, from 360 this week, as exports fuelled by rising oil prices pick up and offshore investors chase local assets in search of yields.

On the official market, the naira was quoted at 305.60, supported by the central bank’s regular intervention.

KENYA

Kenya’s shilling is expected to weaken slightly in the week to Thursday, after rising to a one-year high this week, traders said.

At 0629 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 102.55/75 to the dollar, compared with last Thursday’s close of 102.90/103.10. The shilling hit a one-year high of 102.20/40 on Wednesday.

“Some end of month (importer dollar) demand will come in. I don’t see the shilling weakening too much,” a senior trader at one commercial bank said.

GHANA

Ghana’s cedi could be stable against the dollar next week on increasing hard currency inflows, analysts said.

The local unit was trading at 4.54/65 to the greenback at 1050 GMT, compared with 4.55/00 at last Thursday’s close.

“We expect the cedi to extend its stability... it is expected to trade within the 4.55 and 4.56 band in the week ahead,” said Raphael Adubila, Treasury officer of the Accra-based Northstar Home Finance.

UGANDA

The Ugandan shilling in seen trading with a weakening bias in the coming days, weighed down by healthy demand for dollars from manufacturing and energy sector importers.

At 0956 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,633/3,643, compared with 3,625/35 at last Thursday’s close.

Faisal Bukenya, head of treasury at Exim Bank, said the shilling would trade in a band of 3,625-3,645 but that appetite for dollars from firms in the manufacturing and energy sectors would “give the shilling a bias on the weaker side.”

ZAMBIA

The Zambian kwacha is likely to remain firm against the dollar next week due to a steady flow of hard currency from offshore investors.

At 1000 GMT, commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa’s second-largest copper producer at 9.6700 per dollar, up from a close of 9.8200 a week ago.

“We have seen a lot of dollars from mining companies and foreigners seeking to invest in kwacha assets and we expect this to continue into next week,” one commercial bank trader said.

TANZANIA

The Tanzanian shilling is expected to hold steady against the U.S. dollar in the days ahead, helped by dwindling end-month importer demand for the greenback.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,248/2,253 to the dollar on Thursday, barely moved from 2,250/2,255 a week ago.

“The outlook for the local currency as we head towards the end of the month is that of stability,” said a trader at CRDB Bank. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha, George Obulutsa, Chris Mfula, Kwasi Kpodo, Elias Biryabarema and Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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