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Kenyan shilling weakens due to dollar demand

07 January 2013, 13:46

Nairobi - The Kenyan shilling weakened against the dollar early on Monday due to energy sector importers buying the US currency.

At 0708 GMT, leading commercial banks posted the shilling at 86.45/65 per dollar, 0.2 percent lower from Friday's close of 86.30/50.

 "We've seen some energy dollar demand coming through," said Duncan Kinuthia, head of trading at Commercial Bank of Africa.

The shilling has been under pressure since the year opened, sliding 0.5 percent to a seven-month low, as companies bought dollars after the holiday break.

 Traders said they expected the currency to trade within the Sh86.00-Sh 87.00 range per dollar ahead of a Monetary Policy Committee meeting on Thursday.

Analysts say the bank has room to cut rates after inflation fell for the 13th straight month in December to 3.20 percent.

Policymakers embarked on a rate-easing cycle in July and have slashed interest rates by 700 basis points in total to 11 percent.



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