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WEEKAHEAD-Kenya's shilling to seek direction from court ruling on election
August 31, 2017 / 1:34 PM / 21 days ago

WEEKAHEAD-Kenya's shilling to seek direction from court ruling on election

NAIROBI, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Kenya’s shilling is next week expected to take its cue from a court ruling on a petition challenging the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, while the Ugandan shilling is likely to weaken on increased demand for hard currency.

KENYA

The Kenyan shilling will get price direction from Friday’s Supreme Court ruling on a petition brought by opposition leader Raila Odinga challenging the re-election of Kenyatta, traders said.

At 0822 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 103.05/15 per dollar, compared with 103.10/20 at last Thursday’s close.

“End month demand is subdued... all sectors are waiting on judgement of the case,” said a trader from a commercial bank.

The shilling firmed to a two-month high against the dollar after Kenyatta won with a margin of 1.4 million votes. The court will either uphold the outcome or overturn it. If it chooses to overturn the result, another vote must be held in 60 days.

UGANDA

The Ugandan shilling was expected to trade in a weakening tone with demand for hard currency seen picking up as the year’s fourth quarter nears.

At 1040 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,595/3,605, little changed from last Thursday’s close of 3,598/3,608.

“As we approach the last quarter we anticipate demand to start picking up and that will probably see the unit (shilling) move lower (weaker),” said Faisal Bukenya, head of treasury at Exim Bank in the capital Kampala.

ZAMBIA

The kwacha is likely to remain range-bound in the coming week due to matching demand and supply of hard currency.

At 1200 GMT on Thursday, commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa’s second-largest copper producer at 9.1300 per dollar from 9.0000 a week ago.

“It is likely to trade flat next week because demand and supply seem to have reached an equilibrium,” independent financial analyst Maambo Hamaundu said, referring to the kwacha.

GHANA

Ghana’s cedi is considered stable on news of a successful review and extension of the country’s $918 million aid programme with the International Monetary Fund.

The local unit which has been fairly stable this year, recorded a marginal loss in the past week on unmet corporate dollar demand, despite regular central bank support. It was trading at 4.4425 to the dollar by mid-morning on Thursday compared to 4.4390 last week. “The cedi is expected to remain fairly stable against the USD on the news of an ‘extension’ of the IMF program; a renewed hope to investors in the economy,” currency analyst Joseph Biggles Amponsah said.

The IMF on Wednesday granted an extension to Ghana’s 3-year deal for an extra year beyond its original April 2018 end date and approved the next tranche of balance of payment support of $94.2 million to the country.

NIGERIA

Nigerian naira is seen range bound against the U.S. currency next week as weak demand coupled with increased dollar supply from the central bank and other sources provide support for the local currency, traders said.

The naira was quoted at 364 on the black market on Thursday, the same level a week ago. It traded at around 360 to the dollar for investors but was stuck at 305.85 on the official market.

“We expect some stability due to weak demand and increased supply of dollars, coupled with the Muslim holiday,” said Aminu Gwadabe, head of Nigeria’s exchange bureaux.

Nigeria’s financial market will reopen next Tuesday after a two-day Muslim holiday.

TANZANIA

The Tanzanian shilling is expected to hold steady in the coming days, but could weaken slightly if there is a spike in demand for U.S. dollars from energy and construction sectors.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,244/2,247 to the dollar on Thursday, weaker than 2,240/2,245 a week ago.

“There is pressure on the shilling from oil and infrastructure companies. If demand for dollars increases, the shilling could marginally weaken next week although 2,250 is seen as the resistance level,” said a trader at CRDB Bank. (Reporting by John Ndiso, Elias Biryabarema, Chris Mfula, Kwasi Kpodo, Oludare Mayowa and Fumbuka Ng‘wanakilala; Compiled by Tanisha Heiberg, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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