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Middle East & Africa


Rand holds on to gains ahead of South African budget JOHANNESBURG: The rand was marginally firmer against the dollar on Wednesday, building on four days of gains caused by stronger-than-expected growth at the end of last year and expectations of a solid 2014 budget from finance minister Pravin Gordhan.The rand was at 10.72 against the dollar at 0607 GMT, a touch firmer than Tuesday's New York close but a shade weaker than the previous session's high of 10.70, the currency's strongest level in five weeks.Gordhan is likely to stick closely to his previous spending plans and deficit targets when he presents his budget at 1200 GMT, according to a Reuters poll of economists.Economists expect a budget deficit of 4.2 percent of GDP for the 2014/15 financial year, slightly wider than the 4.1 percent target outlined in October.Any marked changes to these projections could affect domestic bonds and the rand, although analysts said Gordhan was unlikely to pull any surprises, particularly ...

South Africa's rand weaker against the dollar ahead of GDP data JOHANNESBURG: The rand weakened against the dollar early on Tuesday, pulling back from a 5-week high hit overnight as political tensions in emerging markets such as Ukraine and Turkey remained and depressed risk appetite. The rand managed gains to 10.75/dollar in the previous session, boosted by expectations of upbeat GDP data, a market-positive budget and as dealers unwound long-dollar positions. At 0645 GMT, South Africa's currency was down 0.3 percent to 10.8270, off a 10.7940 ...
Kenya shilling weakens marginally due to dollar demand NAIROBI: The Kenyan shilling was a touch weaker on Monday, reflecting growing demand for dollars from importers seeking to meet end-of-month obligations.At 0645 GMT, commercial banks posted the shilling at 86.20/30, slightly weaker than Friday's closing rate of 86.15/25."We are seeing people picking (dollars) ahead of the close of the month. This is just the usual end-of-the-month demand," Bank of Africa Kenya's head of corporate trading Peter Mutuku said.Importers such as energy firms normally ramp ...
Nigeria's naira bounces back after central bank intervention LAGOS: Nigeria's naira bounced back up to 164.40 to the dollar on Friday, after the central bank intervened with dollar sales to calm the market. The market had opened at 164.90, but then fell as low as 167 owing to continued uncertainty caused by President Goodluck Jonathan's suspension of the central bank governor on Thursday.Copyright Reuters, 2014 ...
Nigerian naira eases on lower dollar liquidity LAGOS: Nigeria's naira eased against the dollar on Wednesday owing to a shortage of the US currency on the interbank market amid a reduction in the central bank's supply at a forex auction, dealers said. The local unit closed at 164.05 naira to the dollar on Wednesday, down 0.85 percent from 162.65 naira the previous day. The central bank sold $400 million at its twice-weekly forex auction on Wednesday, down from $600 million it sold ...
Kenyan shilling firms, shares fall for fifth session NAIROBI: The Kenyan shilling firmed slightly on Wednesday thanks to commercial banks selling dollars to meet local currency-denominated tax payments, while shares fell for a fifth straight session.At close of trade at 1300 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 86.10/30 to the dollar, compared with Tuesday's close of 86.20/30."It's just mainly a bit of interbank selling to meet tax payments," a senior trader at one commercial bank said.Traders said earlier in the session the ...
Ugandan shilling steady, seen stronger on dollar inflows KAMPALA: The Ugandan shilling was steady on Wednesday and was expected to appreciate in the days ahead as the central bank mopped up liquidity and dollars flowed in from offshore investors buying debt. At 1036 GMT, commercial banks quoted the currency of east Africa's third-largest economy at 2,453/2,458, little changed from 2,452/2,457. "The repo that the central bank did today coupled with suppressed demand for dollars will give the shilling a bullish tone going forward," ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 16,262.56 0.55
Arrow Nasdaq 4,034.16 0.29
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Arrow H.Seng 22,671.26 1.60
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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
Trade Balance $-1.433 bln
Exports $2.167 bln
Imports $3.600 bln
WeeklyApril 14, 2014
Reserves $9.713 bln