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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan shilling hits six-month low

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan shilling on Tuesday fell to a six-month low as it crossed below the 104 mark against the U.S. dollar.

The currency stood at an average of 104.05 pulled down by increased demand of dollars from various retail importers, among them those bringing in food and oil.

The Central Bank of Kenya quoted the value of the shilling at 104, placing it at a stronger position than what commercial banks did.

The financial institutions, on the other hand, placed the shilling at between 104.05 and 104.10 down from 104 in the previous session, with traders in the banks noting there was a huge dollar demand from multinational paying dividends and retail importers.

On Monday, the shilling remained flat against the dollar, with analysts noting the Central Bank had sold unspecified amount of dollars in its foreign exchange reserves to buttress the currency.

The apex bank was expected to use its foreign reserves to continue supporting the shilling Tuesday, but the fall signals a huge dollar demand that cancelled the move.

At the end of last week, the Central Bank’s dollar reserves stood at 7.92 billion dollars or 5.23 months of import cover down from 7.96 billion dollars or 5.26 months of import cover.

However, according to Cytonn, a Nairobi-based investment firm, the shilling would stabilize due to Kenya’s strong forex reserves position.

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