UPDATE 1-Kenya shilling holds steady, shares inch lower

Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:59am EDT

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* Shilling seen stuck in a band of 86.30-86.70
    * Portland Cement, National Bank lead falls in stocks

 (Adds shares, closing rate)
    By Duncan Miriri
    NAIROBI, March 26 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling was barely
changed against the dollar on Wednesday, unable to break out of
its recent ranges, while shares inched lower as earnings reports
came in.
    At the 1300 GMT close of the market, leading commercial
banks posted the shilling at 86.65/75 per dollar, barely moved
from the previous day's closing rate of 86.60/70. 
    Traders said it was likely to be stuck in a narrow band of
86.30-86.70 in the next few days.
    They cited a lack of demand for dollars or news that could
move the currency.
    "Without that, the market remains directionless," said
Duncan Kinuthia, head of trading at Commercial Bank of Africa. 
    In the money markets, where recent drops in the overnight
borrowing rate had unleashed pressure on the currency, there was
scant movement.
    The weighted average interest rate on the interbank
borrowing market stood at 8.4044 percent on Tuesday from 8.4012
percent the previous day. 
    On the Nairobi Stock Exchange, the benchmark NSE-20 share
index, inched down 0.1 percent to close at 4969.24
points.
    East African Portland Cement  led the fall,
dropping 7 percent to 97.50 shillings a share after its first
half profit more than halved to 171 million shillings.
 
    National Bank was the second-biggest faller,
falling by 2 percent to 31 shillings per share as investors
poked holes in its earnings report for 2013. The bank raised its
pretax profit and dividend per share for the period, while at
the same time cutting provisions for bad debts. 
    "Earnings were up significantly, but on lower provisioning,
so the market appeared not to take that very well," said Ian
Gachichio, a research analyst at Kestrel Capital.
    In the debt market, securities worth 1.2 billion shillings
($13.8 million) were traded during the session, down from the
previous day's volume of 2.51 billion shillings.
               ...........................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 = 86.7000 Kenyan Shillings)

 (Editing by James Macharia)
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