8 February 2013

Zambia: Kwacha Slips Further

THE money market's interbank trading on Wednesday saw the Kwacha continue its slide against the United States (US) dollar, moving back to the higher end of the KR5.300 level.

Interbank trading opened at between KR5.345 and KR5.365 on the bid and offer respectively.

According to the Zanaco Treasury Newsletter,strong demand continued to characterise the market with inflows hitting the market, these were quickly swept up resulting in the Kwacha losing 15 Ngwee on the day to end interbank trading at between KR5.360 and KR5.380.

Zanaco's money markets analysts said demand was expected to persist and the near term could see the local unit remain vulnerable to further losses. The Kwacha is expected to trade between KR5.300 and KR5.400 on the interbank.

Analysts noted that the money market would continued experiencing some decline in liquidity levels this week with Wednesday's current account balance decreasing to KR1, 024.30 million from KR1, 447.20 million.

They said the volume of interbank funds traded also dropped to KR127.50 million from KR147.0 million. However, the weighted average overnight interbank lending rate went up by 31 basis points to close at 8.0 per cent.

Meanwhile, copper prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) further declined yesterday making the second consecutive day of modest losses as the dollar strengthened and physical demand in China was sluggish ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.

The dollar index rose, making it more expensive for holders of other currencies to buy metals priced in dollars.

Three-month copper on the world market ended at US$8,245 from US$8,271 on Tuesday. It earlier touched a session high of US$8,322, not far off Monday's peak of $8,346,which was the highest since October.

And brent crude oil futures posted a modest rise on Wednesday on economic optimism, while US crude prices slipped after data showed an unexpected rise in US crude oil inventories.

Brent settled up 21 cents at US$116.73 a barrel but remained below the previous day's session high, the highest point since mid September.

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