August 10, 2017 / 1:40 PM / 7 days ago

WEEKAHEAD-AFRICA-FX-Kenyan shilling seen easing off pressure; gains for naira

NAIROBI, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Kenya's local currency is expected to be stable or firm up as election-related uncertainty lingers, while Nigeria's naira could post gains as offshore inflows boost dollar liquidity.

KENYA

The Kenyan shilling is seen shaking off some pressure as investors stay on the market sidelines pending the final outcome of the east African country's presidential election, and the reaction of the losing candidate.

At 1031 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 103.95/104.05 per dollar, compared with 103.75/95 at last Thursday's close.

"Our clients in the industrial sector stayed out ... if results are announced and taken well, we could see appreciation of the shilling," said a trader from a leading commercial bank.

Kenya's incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta is tipped to win a second term with results in so far from Tuesday's poll showing him with a commanding lead, but rival Raila Odinga has challenged the outcome, alleging fraud.

NIGERIA

The Nigerian naira is seen appreciating marginally both on the investors' foreign exchange window and on the black market as dollar liquidity rises on the back of offshore inflows.

The naira gained to 364 to the dollar on the black market on Thursday compared with 365 last week. It was quoted at 366.79 per dollar for investors. On the official market window it traded at around 305.90 against the dollar.

The central bank has been injecting the U.S. currency into the market even as dollar liquidity swells with rising investor interest in Nigerian assets.

GHANA

Ghana's cedi could lose ground next week, undercut by increasing corporate dollar demand unless the central bank scales up its weekly sales to support offshore inflows, an analyst said.

The local unit was trading at 4.43 to the dollar by midday on Thursday, weaker than 4.38 a week ago.

"Corporate demand has firmed this week without matching inflows and we expect this trend to continue into next week unless the central bank comes in robustly," Accra-based currency analyst Chris Fiagbe said.

ZAMBIA

The kwacha is expected to firm, supported by hard currency inflows from companies preparing to pay mid-month taxes and due to rising copper prices.

At 1047 GMT on Thursday, commercial banks quoted the currency of Africa's No.2 copper producer at 8.9000 per dollar from a close of 9.1600 a week ago.

"The local unit is expected to be buoyant in the interim on the back of decent hard currency supply on the market and bullish copper prices," BancABC, the Zambian branch of Atlas Mara said in a note.

UGANDA

The Ugandan shilling is seen trading in a broadly stable range on the back of waning demand and easing fears about the possibility of widespread election-related violence in neighbouring Kenya.

At 0939 GMT on Thursday commercial banks quoted the shilling at 3,605/3,615, stronger than last Thursday's close of 3,612/3,622.

Faisal Bukenya, head of treasury at Exim Bank Uganda, said demand from importers was expected to remain subdued.

Fears about the possibility of post-poll violence in Kenya "are also easing gradually", he said, adding that the shilling would swing between 3,600-3,620 in the coming days.

Kenya is Uganda's largest regional trading partner and instability there tends to immediately rattle Ugandan markets.

TANZANIA

The Tanzanian shilling is seen holding onto a steady position, helped by inflows of dollars from the tourism and agriculture sectors.

At 1257 GMT commercial banks quoted the shilling at 2,233/2,243 to the dollar on Thursday, little-changed from 2,234/2,244 a week ago

A trader at CRDB Bank said the local currency would "remain stable next week ... supported by dollar inflows from tourism and exports of cash crops such as tobacco, cotton and coffee."

Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Oludare Mayowa; Chris Mfula; Kwasi Kpodo; Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; John Ndiso; Compiled by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Andrew Bolton

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