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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya Bourse key index surges towards record 3,800 points   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) 20 Share Index on Wednesday gained a record 39 points, moving towards the 3,800 mark as prices of various top stocks rose.

The benchmark index ended the day at 3,768.38 from 3,729.81 on Tuesday boosted by rise in prices of Safaricom, East African Breweries Ltd, Kenya Power and British American Tobacco.

At least 10 stocks that make up the 20 Share Index went up during the Wednesday trading session.

However, equity turnover declined as some 27 million shares valued at 7.7 million dollars were traded, down from 43 million shares worth 12 million dollars in the previous session.

Safaricom, Kenya’s leading telecom was the top traded stock moving 11 million shares at 0.24 dollars, a 1.1 percent rise. Tuesday, the telecom moved 18.1 million shares.

Insurance firm Britam was the second most transacted stock after moving 8.1 million shares at unchanged price of 0.13 dollars.

Kenya Power followed with 2.6 million shares going up marginally to close at 0.08 dollars while Kenya Commercial Bank came fourth with 1.4 million shares at 0.39 dollars.

KenyaRe, an insurance firm, moved 1.1 million shares at 0.23 dollars to close the list of the most traded stocks during the session.

The NSE All Share Index closed the day at 158.35 from 157.05 as it also sustained an upward trend.

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EARLIER REPORT:

Kenya shilling falls on surge in dollar outflows

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenya shilling started the week lower on Monday, weakening against the U.S. dollar as outflows outweighed inflows.

The shilling exchanged against the dollar at an average of 103.86, a decline from 103.84 at the end of last week.

The Central Bank on Monday quoted the shilling at 103.87, down from 103.84 on Friday, with the currency sliding despite the regulator selling dollars to buttress it.

On the other hand, commercial banks put the value of the shilling against the dollar at between 103.85 and 104.05, with traders noting there was high dollar demand from various sectors, including manufacturing and oil.

Last week, latest data showed that the Central Bank used 88 million dollars to support the shilling as forex reserves fell from 5.23 months of import cover to 5.17 months of import cover.

The Kenya shilling last week remained stable mainly driven by Central Bank support, inflows from horticulture exporters, which offset the dollar demand by oil importers.

Analysts noted that shilling would remain relatively stable in the short term, boosted by CBK’s support as can be seen by the decline in the forex reserve levels. On a year to date basis, the shilling has depreciated against the dollar by 1.4 percent.

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