UPDATE 1-Kenyan shilling vulnerable to end-month dollar orders

Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:29am EDT

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* Shilling seen weakening past its 86 support level
    * Shares halt a seven-session fall

 (Adds markets close, stocks)
    By Kevin Mwanza
    NAIROBI, March 22 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling was
steady on Friday, but was likely to weaken in coming sessions
due to a traditional rise in demand for dollars from importers
at the end of the month, traders said.
    The Nairobi stock exchange rose for the first time
in seven sessions, by just 0.1 percent, as some small-cap firms
rose on the back of strong results.
    Commercial banks posted the shilling at 85.80/90 per dollar
at the 1300 GMT close, barely changed from Thursday's 85.70/90.
    It has been hemmed in the 85-86 range this week, hampered by
concerns over a constitutional challenge to the result of this
month's presidential elections.
    "The shilling will come under pressure as we come to the end
of the month. It may cross the 86 level next week," said Peter
Mutuku, head of trading at Bank of Africa.
    "It's still not full-steam go ahead for businesses as people
keep an eye on the Supreme Court," he added.    
    Defeated presidential candidate Raila Odinga refuses to
accept President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta's win in what was a
largely peaceful vote on March 4, in stark contrast to the
widespread violence the last time round in 2007. 
    The Supreme Court is due to rule on Odinga's petition by the
end of next week and if it orders a re-run of the election,
pressure could pile up on the shilling, analysts say.
 
    The shilling is up 0.3 percent against the dollar so far
this year, helped by a rally just before the vote as investors
bet that the ballot would pass off peacefully and avoid a repeat
of violence which followed a disputed vote in 2007.
    "Stocks have recovered some ground backed by the strong
earnings, improved income from dividends and sustained
speculation on counters yet to announce their results," said
Faith Atiti, an analyst at NIC Securities. 
    Shares in the region's leading media house Nation 
rose 5.9 percent to 321 shilling per share after the firm said
on Wednesday its full-year profit rose by a quarter.
ID:nL6N0CCB5K]
    "Nation Media Group is still bullish backed by the 1:5 bonus
issue and 7.50 shilling final dividend," said Atiti.
               ...........................Shilling spot rates 
                  .....................Shilling forward rates 
                           .......................Cross rates 
         ..................................Local contributors 
           .......................Central Bank of Kenya Index 
          .....................Kenyan Bonds contributor pages 
                          ...............Treasury bill yields 
        ..................Central bank open market operations 
        .........................Horizontal repo transactions 
         ,       ................Daily interbank lending rate 
              .............................Kenya Bond pricing 
             ..................Real time Africa economic data 
 <ECI & AFR> ...........................African economic news
          .................................NSE-20 Share Index
         .................................NSE All Share Index
             ...........................FT NSE Kenya 15 Index
             .......................... FT NSE Kenya 25 Index
  SPEED GUIDES:
                                    
            
 ($1 = 85.8000 Kenyan shillings)

 (Editing by Richard Lough; editing by Patrick Graham)
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