Kenyan currency expected to weaken, Ghanaian, Ugandan to firm

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NAIROBI, Feb 9 (Reuters) -Kenya's shilling is forecast to weaken against the dollar in the week to Thursday, while Uganda's and Ghana's currencies will firm, and Zambia's, Tanzania's and Nigeria's hold steady, traders said.


Kenya's shilling KES= is expected to weaken, undermined by increased demand for dollars, especially from oil retailing companies.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 125.00/20 per dollar, compared with last Thursday's close 124.45/65.

In early Thursday trade, the shilling touched a new all-time low of 125.10/30.

"It seems to be kind of one-way. Supply is very thin. Demand (for dollars) is pretty from the oil (companies). They are the biggest, followed by manufacturing," a trader at one commercial bank said.


Ghana's cedi GHS= could strengthen in the coming week depending on the success of a domestic debt exchange (DDE) programme, after posting some marginal gains against the dollar due to improved demand and some central bank support.

Refinitiv data showed the cedi trading at 12.00 to the dollar on Thursday, the same as last Thursday's close.

"Cedi maintained its stability against the dollar during the week buoyed by matched demand and supply amid light trading," said Chris Nettey, a trader at Stanbic Bank.

"A successful DDE could see some cedi strength in the interim," he added.

Ghana has extended the deadline to register for its domestic debt exchange programme for a fifth time to Feb. 10.


The kwacha ZMW= is likely to remain range-bound against the dollar next week due to central bank support as corporate demand for hard currency outpaces supply.

On Thursday, commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa's second-largest copper producer at 19.4600 from 19.3600 a week ago.

Zambia's central bank will on Feb 13 hike by 2.5 percentage points the proportion of deposits that commercial banks keep as cash with it on both local and foreign currency deposits, it said in a letter to commercial banks last week.

The adjustment to the statutory reserve ratio is aimed at addressing volatility in the exchange rate and safeguarding the stability of the foreign exchange market, it said.


The Ugandan shilling UGX= is seen firming in the coming days, with a sagging appetite for hard currency weighing against healthy inflows from commodity exporters.

At 1003 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,665/3,675, compared to last Thursday's close of 3,680/3,690.

"The local unit will likely keep on a firming tone because (dollar) inflows are generally healthy while demand is weak," said one independent foreign exchange trader in the capital Kampala.


Tanzania's shilling TZS= is expected to remain stable next week with inflows from routine trading helping to offset dollar demand from the energy and manufacturing sectors.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,335/2,345 on Thursday, from an average of 2,332/2,342 levels recorded at last week's close.

"We expect the shilling to continue trading around current levels in the week ahead," a trader at a forex trading company said.


Nigeria's naira NGNP= is seen broadly flat on the parallel market as a shortage of the country's newly launched banknotes disrupt cash payment, traders said.

The naira was quoted at 753 to the dollar on the parallel market on Thursday, compared with 755 at last Thursday's close. It traded within a range of 460 to 462 on the official market NGN=.

"So far, (naira shortage) has affected dollar rates," one parallel market trader said. "We buy (dollar) at a discount, if paying with new naira."

Reporting by George Obulutsa, Chris Mfula, Nuzulack Dausen, Elias Biryabarema, Christian Akorlie and Chijioke Ohuocha; Compliled by Hereward Holland; Editing by Chijioke Ohuocha and James Macharia Chege


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