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WEEKAHEAD-AFRICA-FX-Kenyan currency seen stable; Nigeria’s and Zambia’s under pressure - REUTERS

MAY 27, 2024

NAIROBI, May 23 (Reuters) – The Kenyan and Ugandan currencies are forecast to remain relatively stable in the next week to Thursday, while Nigeria’s, Ghana’s and Zambia’s will probably be under pressure, traders said.


Kenya’s shilling is expected to trade around its current levels, as the central bank has sold small amounts of dollars to help stabilise it.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 132.00/133.00 to the U.S. currency on Thursday, compared with last Thursday’s closing rate of 130.50/131.50.

“There’s generally more (FX) demand than supply but no panic-buying,” said one trader.

“As we head towards the end of the month we’re seeing a bit of pressure build up, but we’ve seen (the) central bank provide some support, selling in small amounts just to ensure stability.”


Nigeria’s naira could fall, after Tuesday’s interest rate hike did little to attract foreign investors to a Treasury-bill auction and as a futures contract pays out next week.

LSEG data showed the naira at 1,402 to the dollar on the official market on Thursday, compared with 1,530 a week ago. The unit was sold at 1,510 on the parallel market on Thursday.

“We expect to see more pressure on the naira,” one trader said. “We did not see the impact of the rate hike at the auction on Wednesday. There is a futures maturity next week.”


Ghana’s cedi is expected to weaken further due to elevated foreign-currency demand from oil importers and manufacturers.

LSEG data showed the cedi trading at 14.5000 to the dollar on Thursday, compared to 14.2000 at last Thursday’s close.


“Dollar demand continues to outweigh supply,” said Chris Nettey, head of trading at Stanbic Bank Ghana. “We expect the narrative to continue into next week.”


The Ugandan shilling is seen trading broadly stable in the coming days, underpinned by month-end hard-currency inflows from charities and commodity exporters.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,815/3,825 to the dollar, compared to last Thursday’s close of 3,760/3,770.

“In the last days of the month we expect flows from NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and typically we also usually see a surge in flows from commodities like coffee,” said a trader.



Zambia’s kwacha is likely to remain under pressure due to rising dollar demand from importers at a time of dwindling inflows.

On Thursday the currency of Africa’s second-largest copper producer was trading at 26.20 per dollar from 25.00 a week ago.

“Given the current market scenario, the local unit is expected to continue facing headwinds,” Zambia National Commercial Bank said in a note.

(Reporting by Hereward Holland, Chijioke Ohuocha, Chris Mfula, Christian Akorlie and Elias Biryabarema Editing by Alexander Winning)


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