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Shilling treads water

12 October 2012, 13:00

Nairobi - The Kenyan shilling held steady against the dollar on Friday, but traders said the local currency's outlook remained bearish in the days ahead due to importer demand for the greenback.

On Friday morning commercial banks quoted the shilling at 85.05/25 to the dollar, barely changed from Thursday's close of 85.10/30.

"It looks a bit quiet for now, but we could see a bit more pressure on the shilling from importers ... pushing it to its 85.50 support," said Julius Kiriinya, a trader at African
Banking Corporation.

Traders see the shilling weakening in the medium term as an aggressive rate-cutting cycle filters through the economy and amid political uncertainty as the east African nation heads
towards a general election in March 2013, the first since nationwide violence in 2007.

The central bank has cut the benchmark rate twice since July by a total 500 basis points to 13 percent, after holding at an ultra-high 18 percent for seven straight months to reign in inflation and foreign currency volatility.

- Reuters

Tags economy

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