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Kenya Shilling improves against the dollar ahead of Obama visit

22 July 2015, 21:19

Nairobi - The Kenyan shilling firmed against the dollar on Wednesday, helped by tightening money market liquidity.

The shilling, down about 12 percent against the U.S. currency this year, was trading at 101.10/30 to the dollar at 0705 GMT, compared with 101.30/50 at Tuesday's close.

"It's mostly because of tight liquidity that the shilling is gaining," said a trader at one Nairobi-based commercial bank.

For most of this year the shilling has been under pressure from the global strength of the dollar, slowing export proceeds especially from tourism, and a widening current account deficit.

But this week it has recovered some of the losses due to rising rates on the overnight borrowing market for banks, which lends support to the shilling.

Traders say the interbank lending rate is now at its highest level this year, with the weighted average interbank lending rate rising to 14.7861 percent on Tuesday from 14.2728 percent a day earlier.

"Most players were long dollar, so the funding cost for them is now painful. What you are seeing now is those players cutting dollar positions, so it's creating a domino effect," said a second shillings trader.

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- Reuters


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