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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya shilling slides as market reopens in New Year

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenya shilling declined Tuesday, the first day of trading this year, as demand for U.S. dollars after the New Year festivities rose.

The shilling traded at an average of 103.30, a drop from 103.25 where it stood on Friday, the last day of trading in 2017.

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) on Tuesday placed the local currency at 103.29 per dollar, a fall from 103.23 at the end of last week.

Commercial banks in the East African nation, on the other hand, quoted the currency at between 103.20 and 103.40 down from Friday’s margins of 103.20 and 103.30.

Currency traders in the financial institutions noted there was high demand of the dollar from various sectors following the holiday, with huge need for dollars coming from oil importers.

Similarly, against the British Pound, the local unit declined to 139.65 on Tuesday from 138.75 last Friday, with the currency sustaining a downward trend.

The shilling remained resilient in 2017, depreciating by 0.7 percent against the dollar during the year to close at 103.2 from 102.5 at the beginning of the year, according to investment firm Cytonn.

It was partly supported by the weakening of the dollar in the global markets as indicated by the U.S. dollar Index, which shed 9.9 percent in 2017.

           

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