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Ugandan shilling trades flat against the US dollar for the 3rd Day

The Ugandan shilling traded flat against the dollar for a third day on Wednesday as the market awaited May inflation data for a firmer idea on the direction the central bank will take at Friday's meeting on interest rates.

One positive was Wednesday's treasury bill auction, which was heavily over-subscribed, a reflection of still high official rates and returns which have drawn foreign investors in recent months.

"Activity in the market is sluggish and the shilling is stuck in the same position although the (Treasury bill) auction might draw some inflows and move it down a bit," said a trader at a leading commercial bank.

"Broadly, though, traders wont be taking any major positions before the rate and inflation data are announced."

At local market close, commercial banks in Kampala quoted the shilling at 2,475/2,485, unchanged from Tuesday's close.

"The local unit will remain in range with a downward (strengthening) bias especially if we get good offshore debt uptake at the auction," said Faisal Bukenya, head of market making at Barclays Bank.

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics will publish consumer price data for May on Thursday, a day head of the central bank's monetary policy committee meeting.

Traders expected any slowdown in price growth to be slight and that the Bank of Uganda would likely hold its key rate steady.

Uganda's central bank held interest rates at 21 percent at the beginning of this month and put off any immediate easing, citing rising food prices. It did, however, signal a likely drop in borrowing costs later in 2012.

Reuters
30 May 2012

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