SUN BUSINESS REPORTER writes

@SunZambian

THE Zambian Kwacha lost more ground against the dollar on Thursday undercut by a rise in demand from the agriculture and energy sector.

According to Barclays Bank Zambia daily market update, opening the day at its previous close of K13.25/13.30, the local unit traded in a tight band to close at K13.27/13.32 per dollar.

Near term, the Kwacha was anticipated to continue trading on the defensive as demand lingered on.

On money market, the bank reported that the liquidity levels improved in yesterday’s session increasing from K529.00 million to K795.30 million.

The volumes of funds traded on the interbank also followed a similar trend increasing from K467.00 million to K632.00 million.

The cost of borrowing funds on the interbank slightly increased from 10.65percebnt to 10.67percent.

The local market remained subdued in yesterday’s trading session.

On the international market scene, the bank reported that London copper prices on Friday rebounded from a sharp fall in the previous session, as a private survey showed manufacturing activity in top consumer China was better than expected.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.8percent at $5,845 a tonne, as of 0406 GMT, recovering from a 1.9% drop in the previous session, which was the biggest fall in almost three months due to weak China data on Thursday.

At the same time, the bank reported that oil prices fell on Thursday after data showed weak factory activity in China, with U.S. crude facing extra pressure after flows out of the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub were disrupted because of reduced flows on a pipeline.

Brent LCOc1 futures were down 38 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $60.23 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 fell 88 cents, or 1.6percent, to $54.18.

The bank further reported that the price of gold rose on Thursday as the dollar came under pressure after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates while uncertainty surrounding a U.S.-China trade deal bolstered the metal’s appeal as a safe-haven investment.

Spot gold climbed 0.9percent to $1,507.98 an ounce by 1258 GMT, having earlier risen to a nearly one-week high of $1509.80. Prices were set for a monthly gain of more than 2percent.

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