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Kenyan assets edge up after IMF's upbeat view on the economy

11 July 2014, 08:07

Nairobi - The Kenyan shilling firmed marginally against the dollar on Thursday and Nairobi's benchmark share index inched up after the International Monetary Fund gave a positive review of the economy.

At the 1300 GMT close of trade, commercial banks posted the shilling at 87.60/70 per dollar, up slightly from Wednesday's close of 87.65/75.

Concerns over political tensions have also eased after an opposition rally in Nairobi on Monday to protest against growing insecurity, rising food prices and corruption went off peacefully.

There were initial fears that the rally could turn violent, driving up political risk in the east African nation.

"The shilling is appreciating after Monday," said Andlip Nazir, senior trader at I&M Bank. "It should strengthen a bit more going forward."

The IMF said late on Wednesday that lending to the manufacturing sector was picking up, pointing to good economic growth prospects.

Manufacturing was helping to offset weaker tourism, which has been hit by a number of attacks in Kenya recently. Somali group al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for some of the attacks but the government has blamed local groups supported by local political networks.

Traders said they expect the shilling to consolidate within its recent range of 87.20-88.00. Weakness ahead of Monday's rally had threatened to push it below the 88.00 level.

On the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the main NSE-20 share index added 5.45 points on the day, to close at 4,898.25 points.

In the debt market, bonds worth 3 billion shillings ($34.27 million) were traded, up from 2.12 billion shillings traded on Wednesday.

- Reuters


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