LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia’s kwacha came off a five-year low on Tuesday, commercial bank data showed.
The southern African nation’s currency depreciated by 60 percent on Monday, before making a recovery at 5,110 versus the U.S. dollar in mid-day trade Tuesday.
Barclays Bank Zambia Plc said in a Treasury note that the kwacha was range-bound against the dollar on Monday ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Barclays Bank said the currency recovered on dollar selling as corporate converted to cover mid-month tax obligations.
Gains were later relinquished on weak fundamentals but closed at 5,190/5,210 kwacha to the dollar, unchanged from Friday’s close.
“The kwacha has depreciated by over 60 percent since June, in part pressured by tumbling copper prices that have fallen about 65 percent since a record high of $8,940 a tone in July,” the bank added.
Barclays Bank said the market remained volatile.
“It is unclear whether (the) kwacha has hit a bottom versus the dollar and currency volatility is likely in the short term,” it said.
Some analysts have attributed the weakening of the kwacha to speculators who had purchased huge amounts of dollars to hold then offload on the market when the currency weakens further.
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