UPDATE 1-Kenya shilling weakens, stocks close higher

Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:57am EST

* Main share index up for fourth straight session
    * Shilling eases due to importer, interbank demand


    By George Obulutsa
    NAIROBI, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling 
weakened slightly on Tuesday as importers and commercial banks
bought dollars for end-of-month payments, while shares closed
higher for the fourth straight session.    
    At the close of trade at 1300 GMT, commercial banks quoted
the shilling at 86.40/50 to the dollar, compared with Monday's
close of 86.25/35.
    "It's the typical demand towards the end of the month that
is creeping in," said Chris Muiga, a trader at National Bank.
    Importers including energy firms normally ramp up dollar
demand at the end of the month as they stock up for the next
month or settle outstanding payments to suppliers.
    "We have just seen a pick-up in demand on the interbank
front," a senior trader at one commercial bank said.
    Traders said they forecast the shilling to trade in the
86.00 to 86.60 range in coming days. The unit has gained 0.23
percent so far against the dollar since the start of the year.
    On the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the main NSE-20 Share
Index closed 27.11 points, or 0.56 percent, to close at
4,875.82 points.
    Leading the index up were shares in East African Breweries
, which closed the session 2.3 percent higher at 270
shillings a share after surging 3.4 percent earlier in the day
to hit 273 shillings. Investors were buying after recent falls.
    Also registering a higher close were shares in mobile
telecoms firm Safaricom, which is typically the most
liquid stock on the bourse. It closed the session 0.9 percent up
at 11.55 shillings a share.
    "The main driving factor for EABL and Safaricom is the usual
- foreign participation," Henry Nyoike, head of international
research and business development at Kingdom Securities, said.
    On the secondary market, government bonds valued at 2.23
billion shillings were traded, up from 1.20 billion shillings on
Monday.
    
               ...........................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:
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