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LUSAKA: Zambia’s currency is likely to firm next week as Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania’s hold steady.

ZAMBIA

The kwacha will likely gain next week due to sustained central bank support and favourable sentiment after Zambia’s official creditors assured that they would restructure its debt.

On Thursday, commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa’s second-largest copper producer at 16.1800 per dollar from 16.2300 at the close of business a week ago.

“The local unit is projected to maintain a streak of gains in the short to medium term as positive sentiment surrounding the country’s positive stride to debt restructuring continues to boost the kwacha’s performance,” Access Bank said in a note.

KENYA

The Kenyan shilling is seen trading broadly stable, drawing some support from positive sentiment after a peaceful general election.

At 0745 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 119.25/119.45, compared to last Thursday’s close of 119.00/119.20 “Considering the election has gone smoothly overall, I think we’ll probably see some positive sentiment come out of that and support to the shilling,” said a trader at one commercial bank.

Kenya held its general election on Tuesday in which voters were picking the next president, legislators and local government officials. Preliminary results early Thursday were still showing the presidential contest as a tight race between the two leading candidates.

UGANDA

The Ugandan shilling is seen trading in a stable range, with traders anticipating central bank policymakers to leave the key lending rate unchanged at a meeting on Friday.

At 1012 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,805/3,815, compared to last Thursday’s close of 3,875/3,885.

“After the back-to-back rate hikes our expectation is that the current stance is likely to be held,” a trader at one central bank said referring to central bank rate.

The central bank raised its key rate by 100 basis in both June and July to its current 8.5% to reign in inflation.

The trader said if a neutral stance is adopted by the central bank the shilling is likely to trade stable around 3,800 against the dollar.

TANZANIA

Tanzania’s shilling is expected to hold steady next week amid increasing inflation as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to disrupt the global supply chain.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,327/2,337 on Thursday, unchanged from last week’s close.

“We have seen the Bank of Tanzania saying it will ease the pace of liquidity expansion for the remainder of the year as it seeks to get a grip on rising inflation levels (and) against this backdrop, we see little change for the shilling in the near term,” a foreign exchange trader said.

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