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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya shilling 'weighed down by high end-month dollar demand'

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenya shilling declined considerably on Friday, closing the week lower weighed down by high end-month U.S. dollar demand.

The local currency traded at an average of 103.25 to the dollar, down from 103.15 in the Thursday session.

Kenya’s Central Bank placed the shilling at 103.23 to the greenback, down from 103.15 position on Thursday and the Wednesday’s level of 103.08.

On the other hand, commercial banks in the East African nation quoted the currency at between 103.20 and 103.30 down from Thursday’s margins of 103.10 and 103.20.

Forex traders attributed the sharp decline to high end-month dollar demand from oil and merchandise importers.

Against the British Pound, the shilling similarly fell to end Friday at 138.75 from 138.47 as the downward trend persisted.

Besides the pound and dollar, the shilling also weakened marginally against the Euro and the Japanese Yen. In the East African Community, the shilling was fairly stable against the Burundi and Rwanda Francs and the Tanzania and Uganda shillings, according to the apex bank.

But Kenya has at 7.1 billion dollars, an equivalent to 4.8 months of import cover, which analysts believe can comfortably support the shilling.

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