WEEKAHEAD-AFRICA-FX-Zambian Kwacha, black market Naira seen bearish

LUSAKA, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Zambia and Nigeria's currencies are expected to come under pressure against the greenback in the coming week as Uganda and Tanzania's hold steady.


The kwacha is likely to remain under pressure against the U.S. dollar next week as a shortage of hard currency driven by agricultural and energy sector imports persists.

On Thursday, commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa's second largest copper producer at 19.7500 per dollar from a close of 19.5610 a week ago.

"The government is importing farming inputs like fertilizer as well as crude oil to feed Indeni," economist Chibamba Kanyama of the brokerage Bridges said, referring to the local refinery.


Nigeria's naira is seen easing on the black market in the week ahead as pressure builds on the currency, despite the central bank's efforts to clear backlog demand, traders said.

The naira was quoted at 445 per dollar on the unofficial market on Thursday, weakening from 435 it reached last week after the central bank resumed forex sales to investors stuck in the country following a coronavirus-induced oil price collapse.

The currency traded at 386.57 on the over-the-counter spot market on volumes in excess of $40 million.

Volumes on the spot market, widely quoted by investors and importers, had been declining daily, following the absence of foreign inflows and inadequate central bank interventions.

Oil prices dipped on Thursday although the Brent benchmark stayed above $40 a barrel. Dollar shortages have plagued the country for months after sharp falls in the price of oil, Nigeria's main export.


The Ugandan shilling is seen holding in a stable range in the coming days as preparations by firms to pay mid-month taxes curb demand for dollars.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,700/3,710, compared with last Thursday's close of 3,680/3,690. The shilling is expected to trade in the 3,685-3,710 range in coming days.

"I would expect activity by corporates on the demand side will be pretty thin minding mid-month tax obligations are around the corner," said a trader from one commercial bank.


Tanzania's shilling is expected to hold steady as dollar demand from manufacturers and oil importers matches inflows from agricultural exports.

Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,315/2,325, the same level as last Thursday's close.

"We foresee the shilling remaining steady in the coming week as an increase in manufacturing and oil importers' dollar demand is balanced by continued agricultural inflows," Terry Karanja, a treasury associate from AZA, a Nairobi-based forex trading firm said.


The Kenyan shilling, which was trading at 108.35/55 on Thursday, is expected to take its cue from the central bank in the week ahead.

"It just boils down to the central bank. If they were to come and sell (dollars), it would strengthen," said a currency trader at a commercial bank.

The shilling closed last Thursday's trade at 108.25/45 per dollar.

Traders said next week's auction of 50 billion shillings worth of government bonds was unlikely to move the market, since offshore investors usually prefer to participate in the auctions of infrastructure bonds, rather than ordinary ones. (Reporting by Chris Mfula, Chijioke Ohuocha, Elias Biryabarema, Nuzulack Dausen and Duncan Miriri; Compiled by Chris Mfula; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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