By FRANK MUKUPA
THE Kwacha strengthened for the second consecutive day this week against the dollar as a result of local currency liquidity tightness and healthy dollar conversions from exporters and other corporates, the Barclays Bank daily report says.
According to the report, commercial banks quoted the Kwacha at K12.550/12.600 per dollar, 5 ngwee higher than its opening level of K12.600/12.650.
The report says the local unit is anticipated to trade steady in the near term.
The liquidity levels, the report says, reduced to K364.31 from K482.16 million on Tuesday with the volumes of funds traded closing at K334.00 million from K225.00 Million seen on Monday.
“The cost of borrowing funds rose to 10.30 percent from 10.28 percent mainly due to tight market liquidity,” the report says.
It says the local market was characterised by very little activity on Tuesday with yields remaining relatively unchanged.
Oil prices, according to the report, slipped at the close of Asian trading Tuesday as concerns of the US-China trade war and its negative impact on the global economy and oil demand outweighed tensions brewing in the Middle East.
The report says Brent futures were US$0.58 lower at US$64.05/bbl.
The report says Gold prices fell on Tuesday as the dollar held near multi-week highs after investors reduced bets on an aggressive US interest rate cut this month.
“Spot gold was down 0.3 at US$1,391.65 per ounce,” the report says
Copper, according to the report, fell to a three-week low on Tuesday even as talks resumed between the United States and China in an effort to resolve the long-running dispute that had sapped metals demand.
“Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) ended 1.2 percent down at US$5,822 an ounce after touching its weakest since June 17,” the report says.