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Middle East & Africa


South Africa's rand firms before interest rate decision JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand firmed against the dollar early on Thursday before the Reserve Bank's fifth interest rate decision of the year as some market players anticipated a hike in rates. The bank has raised the repo rate by 75 basis points since the start of the year during what it calls a gradual hiking cycle as inflation rises. The bank said further moves will be highly dependent on data. The consensus of economists polled last week said the bank would stay put on raising rates until its November meeting, but views may have changed after upbeat retail sales data and quickening inflation on Wednesday backed the case for an increase."Although FRA pricing today suggests hikes, the market is still on the fence," said Alexa Nicolau of Rand Merchant Bank in a market note. "Before yesterday, the local economy seemed unable to absorb a hike without any disturbance but the ...

Kenyan shilling hovers near 3-year low, stocks edge lower NAIROBI: The Kenyan shilling weakened on Wednesday, hovering near three-year lows due to dollar demand from the energy and telecoms sectors, and traders said importers buying dollars would keep it under pressure.On the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), stocks edged lower, breaking a three-day rising streak.By close of trade at 1300 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 89.25/35 to the dollar, compared with Tuesday's close of 89.00/10."There's a bit of weakness. There was some demand ...
South Africa rand snaps 2-day gains despite hawkish local data JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand weakened against the dollar on Wednesday, as uncertainty over a key U.S. federal reserve policy statement overshadowed retail sales and inflation data that backed the case for a domestic rate hike this week.The rand rallied briefly after Statistics South Africa said consumer inflation quickened more than expected to 6.4 percent year-on-year in August, while retail sales rose 2.4 percent in July.The data could tilt the South African Reserve Bank towards hiking ...
Kenyan shilling hovers near 3-year low, seen under pressure NAIROBI: The Kenyan shilling was flat near three-year lows on Wednesday and traders said the local currency was expected to come under pressure due to dollar demand from importers.By 0830 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling unchanged at 89.00/10 to the dollar, yet to convincingly break the key 89-level after which it could tumble even further.The shilling touched 89.05/25 late on Tuesday, its weakest since it hit 89.10/20 in mid-December 2011, Reuters data showed."The shilling ...
Egyptian pound steady on official market, strengthens on black market CAIRO: Egypt's pound held steady at a central bank dollar sale on Wednesday, with the bank saying it sold $39.6 million at a cut-off price of 7.1401 pounds per dollar, unchanged from Monday's rate.In the unofficial market, the pound was trading slightly higher at 7.35 to the dollar, compared to 7.38 on Monday.The rate for dollar sales has stayed in a tight range since the beginning of June, after the bank allowed the pound to ...
Ugandan shilling weakens as banks, manufacturers buy dollars KAMPALA: The Ugandan shilling weakened on Wednesday under pressure from manufacturers and banks buying dollars, but traders said higher Treasury bills yields would help cushion the currency.At 0846 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,610/2,620, weaker than Tuesday's close of 2,605/2,615."There was pressure in the market mainly from manufacturers and some banks who wanted to cover short positions," said Isaac Iga, chief dealer at Orient Bank. "Most speculation, though, is on what will come ...
South Africa's rand weaker vs dollar before key inflation data JOHANNESBURG: South Africa's rand weakened against the dollar before the release of expected lower inflation data on Wednesday, with investors keen to see what effect the number could have on an interest rate decision in the coming session. Offshore, the focus is on the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy-setting meeting later in the day, with expectations that the bank will signal tighter policy sooner than expected.The rand traded at 10.9275 to the dollar at 0651 ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 23, 2014
Reserves $13.465 bln