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Kenya shilling stagnates against US dollar

22 July 2014, 22:44

Nairobi - The Kenyan shilling was little changed against the dollar on Tuesday and looked likely to remain in a tight range in the days ahead as shares inched down.

At the 1300 GMT close of trade, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 87.80/90 per dollar, barely moved from Monday's close of 87.75/85.

"It's going to be range-bound for now," said Andlip Nazir, senior trader at I&M Bank.

Traders forecast a range of 87.50-88.00 for the next few days. Nazir said he expected an even tighter range between 87.60-90 and said the central bank was likely to intervene if the shilling weakened to more than 88.00 to the dollar.

"We don't see the shilling going above 88 as it's being protected by the central bank," he said.

The central bank has pumped dollars into the market whenever the shilling has come under pressure, prompting traders to conclude it had drawn a line at 88.00.

The shilling has weakened by about 1.8 percent against the dollar this year as tourism, a major foreign exchange earner, has been hit by a series of attacks on the country, mostly blamed on Islamists.

On the bourse, the main NSE-20 share index, lost a quarter of a percentage point to close at 4,882.73 points.

Mumias Sugar, dropped by 4 percent to close at 2.40 shillings per share. Ian Gachichio, a research analyst at Kestrel Capital, said investors were unsettled by recent news that has included changes to the management and a pretax loss in the first half, which ended in December.

In the debt market, bonds worth 4.14 billion shillings were traded, up from a volume of 2.64 billion shillings traded in the previous session. 

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- Reuters


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