February 8, 2018 / 12:10 PM / 3 months ago

WEEKAHEAD-Ghana's cedi, Kenya shilling seen firmer; Tanzania shilling to weaken in week ahead

NAIROBI, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Ghana’s cedi and Kenyan shilling are expected to firm next week on the back of export and investor inflows while the Tanzanian shilling is expected to remain under pressure.

GHANA

Ghana’s cedi is expected to continue its rally against the dollar next week on growing investor interest in local assets ahead of a 5-year domestic bond settlement on Monday.

The cedi was trading at 4.4650 to the greenback at 0935 on Thursday, firmer than 4.5490 a week ago.

“The 5-year bond settlement is expected to further fuel the cedi’s gains,” said Raphael Adubila, Treasury officer of the Accra-based Northstar Home Finance. “We expect the dollar to touch a 2018 low of 4.4400 before end of this week.”

KENYA

The Kenyan shilling could gain ground against the dollar in the coming week due to inflows from horticulture earnings subduing thin demand from manufacturers and oil importers.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 100.70/90 per dollar on Thursday, compared with 101.80/102.00 at last Thursday’s close.

“Dollars in circulation from offshore investors and horticulture exporters are meeting the usual demand,” said a commercial bank trader.

NIGERIA

The naira is likely to remain stable against the dollar next week despite a sell-off this week on the stock and bond markets started by international investors, traders said.

Nigerian bond yields rose across maturities while stocks fell on Wednesday as global risk-off sentiment spread to local assets. Traders said the impact of the sell-off was limited on the naira as there was no sign of pressure building up on the currency.

On the official market, the naira was quoted at around 305.85, supported by the central bank’s regular intervention. The unit traded at 360 per dollar for investors.

UGANDA

The Ugandan shilling is seen trading in a broadly stable range in the coming days helped by soft demand amid thin liquidity conditions.

At 0839 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,633/3,643, weaker than last Thursday’s close of 3,625/3,635.

A trader at a leading commercial bank said scarcity of local currency liquidity would limit the building of positions by traders.

On Thursday the central bank removed an undisclosed amount of shillings from the money markets via a one-week repurchase agreement (repo) and two deposit auctions of 29-day and 56-day tenors.

ZAMBIA

The kwacha is likely to remain range-bound against the dollar next week despite pressure on the unit arising from subdued dollar supply.

On Thursday, commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa’s second-largest copper producer at 9.7400 per dollar, up from a close of 9.8000 a week ago.

“The upcoming government bond auction will likely attract foreign investors who will in turn ease pressure on the local unit,” the Zambian branch of South Africa’s First National Bank said, referring to an auction due in two weeks.

TANZANIA

The Tanzanian shilling could remain under pressure in the days ahead, weighed down by demand for dollars from importers amid subdued inflows of the U.S. currency.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,255/2,260 to the dollar on Thursday, weaker than 2,249/2,254 a week ago.

“The shilling will likely continue to be under pressure next week as we expect demand for dollars from various importers to continue being relatively high,” said a trader at CRDB Bank. (Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo, John Ndiso, Chijioke Ohuocha in Nigeria, Elias Biryabarema, Chris Mfula, Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Alison Williams)

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