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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Kenya shilling has firmed ahead of key policy meeting   

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan shilling firmed against the U.S. dollar on Friday as the market waited for direction from the Central Bank’s monetary policy committee, which will sit on the coming Monday.

The shilling strengthened marginally against the U.S. currency to stand at an average of 102.8 as it sustained gains witnessed this week.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) put the value of the currency against the dollar at 102.84 down from 102.87 in the previous session.

On Thursday, the shilling had strengthened against the dollar by 0.01 percent to close at 102.87 from 102.88 in Wednesday’s trading.

Commercial banks, on the other hand, placed the value of the shilling against the dollar at between 102.80 and 103.0, same as it had been since Wednesday.

Traders noted the currency had remained largely unmoved during the week waiting for the key meeting. The apex bank’s advisory committee, according to analysts, is likely to retain its base lending rate at 10 percent during the meeting on Monday.

The rate acts a guide for many areas, including inflation index, the government securities market and for commercial banks, which use it to determine their loan prices.

Against the British pound, the shilling weakened Friday to close at 137.34, a continuation of the previous day’s trend where it declined by 0.03 percent to end at 136.41.

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