Kwacha expected to hold gains

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The Kwacha is expected to hold gains made in yesterday’s session and trade between KR5.400 (K5,400) and KR5.500 (K5,500) against the dollar on the interbank.

And Copper on Thursday steadied on the London Metal Market after a one per cent loss in the previous session.

According to the ZANACO treasury newsletter for Friday June 28, the Kwacha posted significant gains against the Dollar on Thursday, rallying to appreciate by KR0.055, to end the trading session below the KR5.500 (K5, 500) level.

ZANACO reveals that the local unit opened trading at KR5.500 (K5, 500) and KR5.520 (K5, 520) on the bid and offer respectively.

The appreciation was due to sustained Dollar inflows from corporates, offshore and interbank players on the day, closing the market at KR5.445 (K5, 445) and KR5.465 (K5, 4650.

Similarly, Standard Chartered Bank says the Kwacha strengthened against the Greenback during Thursday’s midday trade session and ended the day on a positive note at KR5.4350 (K5, 435) and KR5.4750 (5,470)

In its daily brief the bank says this was necessitated by stable Dollar inflows which helped curve down Kwacha bears from further weaker levels.

And Barclays Bank reports that the market saw moderate Dollar inflows from Greenback suppliers that were liquidating their Dollars to meet their month end local currency obligations.

After opening buying and selling at KR5.490 (K5, 490) and KR5.510 (5, 510), the local currency closed firmer at KR5.440 (K5,440) and KR5.460 (5,460)for bid and offer respectively.

On the international money market, the Sterling fell to its lowest level against the Dollar for more than three weeks on Thursday after weaker than expected economic data kept alive the chances of more quantitative easing from the Bank of England.

The British currency fell 0.7 per cent to $1.5201, its lowest since early June whereby more losses would leave it the potential to target the late May low of $1.5008.

The Euro nursed broad losses in early Asian trade on Thursday as investors turned on the common currency after European Central Bank officials made clear any policy tightening remained a very distant prospect.

The Euro plumbed a near four-week low near $1.2984, taking total losses since June 19 to more than 3 per cent.

The unit was last at $1.3008, little changed from late New York levels.

South Africa’s Rand was firmer in early trade on Thursday, supported by the short term flows ahead of the end of the financial quarter, but traders said the underlying sentiment remained bearish.

The Rand was at 10.0583 against the Dollar at 0652 GMT, 0.6 per cent stronger than its New York close of 10.12 overnight.

Meanwhile, Zambia recorded a trade surplus valued at 267.8 million Kwacha($48.65 million) in May 2013 from 329.5 million Kwacha in April 2013.

The Central Statistical Office yesterday announced that Zambia’s inflation quickened to 7.3 per cent year-on-year in June from 7 per cent in May as both food and non-food items prices rose.

And Copper steadied on Thursday after a 1 per cent loss in the previous session, as worries over China’s credit crunch eased and on expectations that the U.S. and EU central banks will not rush to reduce their stimulus programmes.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange ended the day little changed, closing $5 firmer at $6,740 a tonne.

Gold sank over two   per cent to below $1,200 per ounce for the first time in nearly 3 years on Thursday as investors continued their relentless selling into a ninth straight session, betting on the U.S. Federal Reserve will curb its bond buying.

Falling for a ninth straight session, spot gold was down $21.95, or 1.79 per cent at $1,204.10 an ounce.

The commodity fell as low as $1,197.1 an ounce, its lowest since Aug. 12 2010.

Brent crude rose for a fourth session in a row on Thursday to trade near $102 a barrel as weak U.S. economic data eased concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve will soon reduce its monetary stimulus, underpinning commodities.

Brent crude for August delivery was up 24 cents, after settling 40 cents higher at $101.66 a barrel in the previous session, while U.S. crude was up 10 cents at $95.60 a barrel.