Shilling firms against dollar, shares drop
21 August 2015, 21:41
Nairobi - The Kenyan shilling gained against the dollar on Thursday but was
seen vulnerable from the side-effects of a global rout of emerging
market currencies. Shares fell.
At the close of trade, commercial banks posted the
shilling at 103.20/30 per dollar, firmer than Thursday's close of
103.45/55 per dollar.
Joshua Anene, a trader at Commercial Bank of Africa,
said the shilling gained after banks squared their dollar positions
before the weekend.
A firmer dollar and the accompanying flight to safety by investors could however still weigh on the currency.
"The shilling still looks vulnerable," Anene said.
"Interbank players were squaring off ahead of the weekend as no one
wants to go to into the weekend with open positions."
Traders say the shilling, down 12 percent to the dollar
this year, was expected to remain under pressure, hurt by a wide
current account deficit and scarce tourism receipts due to lower visitor
numbers following a spate of attacks by Somali Islamists.
In the stock market, the benchmark NSE-20 share index fell 0.55 percent to close at 4,405.29 points.
Shares have been under pressure in recent months due to
investor flight to less risky assets ahead of an expected hike of U.S.
rates by the Federal Reserve.
In the debt market, bonds worth 131 million shillings
($1 million) were traded, down from the previous day's volume of 400
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