Kwacha maintains gains against the dollar

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SUN BUSINESS REPORTER writes @SunZambia

The Zambian Kwacha traded flat against the dollar on Thursday ahead of the International Women’s Day Holiday.

It drew its support from corporate dollar inflows converting for tax obligations as the due date draws near, and an ease in demand from the agriculture and energy sector. 

According to Barclays Bank Zambia Market update, the local unit closed the day at its opening levels of K12.000/12.050 on the bid and offer respectively and is likely to continue trading in a tight band with a bias to gain in the near term.

On Money Market, the bank reported that there was a slight increase in market activity in Thursday’s trading session with the interbank traded volumes rising by 17 million, from K102 million to K119 million. 

Market liquidity decreased by 8.9% to see it close at K1.75 Billion on the back of banks meeting their statutory reserve obligations.

The average interbank overnight rate fell by 1bp from 9.93% to 9.92% the previous day.

On international markets, oil prices rose on Monday with Brent crude oil prices at $65.04 per barrel.

This was lifted by comments from Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih that an end to OPEC-led supply cuts was unlikely before June, and a report showing a fall in U.S. drilling activity.

The further reported that  gold prices inched lower on Monday as the dollar firmed, but concerns about global economic slowdown further increased by poor U.S. jobs data kept the precious metal pinned at near a more than one-week peak level. 

On Copper the bank reported that  London copper prices were little changed on Friday with the market set for a weekly decline, as rising inventories and a drop in the premium for directly available metal signalled easing supply squeeze. 

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.07 percent at $6,428 a tonne 0156 GMT, on track for a weekly drop of 0.8 percent.

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