Kenyan, Zambian currencies seen weakening

NAIROBI, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Kenyan and Zambian currencies are expected to weaken against the U.S. dollar in the coming week while those of Uganda and Tanzania are likely to hold steady.


Kenya's shilling KES= is expected to be undermined by increased demand from general goods importers and oil companies.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 113.45/65 per dollar, compared with last Thursday's close of 113.40/60.

"There is still a lot of demand coming from a lot of importers, owing to the fact that it is end-month, the oil companies and merchandise importers are starting to buy," a trader at one commercial bank said.

The shilling is just off a fresh all-time low of 113.55/75 hit on Jan. 20 and Jan. 25, according to Refinitiv data.


The Ugandan shilling UGX= is seen trading within a broadly stable range in the coming days on the back of typical end of month inflows amid low importer appetite.

At 0942 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,515/3,525, unchanged from last Thursday's close.

"End of month flows should yield some support," an independent foreign exchange trader in the capital Kampala said, adding those hard currency flows will likely meet with a generally flat demand appetite.

The local unit, he said, is expected to trade between 3,500-3,520.


Tanzania's shilling TZS= is expected to hold steady next week as inflows from exports match the dollar demand in the market.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,305/2,315 on Thursday, nearly the same levels recorded at last week’s close.

"We expect a better operating environment for local businesses amid a recent fall in the overall lending rates and a potential boost in exports to maintain current levels for the shilling, with scope for appreciation in the longer term," said Terry Karanja, a treasury associate at AZA, a Nairobi-based FX trading firm.


The Nigerian naira is seen range-bound in the coming week, as higher oil prices provide support for the central bank to boost dollar sales, traders said.

The currency firmed to 570 naira to dollar on the parallel market NGNP= on Thursday but was steady last week at 572 naira. On the official market NGN= , it traded at a range of 411-417 naira.

Oil prices have been rising which could provide more dollar inflow for the central bank to support the currency. But the country needs to be able to maintain steady production, one commercial bank trader said.

"I don't see the naira trading outside current range," the trader said.


The kwacha ZMW= is likely to remain broadly weak against the dollar in the coming week, driven down by limited supply of hard currency.

On Thursday, commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa's second-largest copper producer down at 17.8500 per dollar from 17.4000 at the close of business a week ago.

"The market continues to face dollar scarcity, further putting more pressure on the local unit which is expected to continue trading bearish in the near term," Access Bank ACCESS.LG said in a note.
Reporting by George Obulutsa, Elias Biryabarema, Nuzulack Dausen, Chris Mfula and Chijioke Ohuocha; Compiled by Maggie Fick; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Alison Williams

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