UPDATE 1-Kenyan shilling steady, shares close lower

Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:10am EDT

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* Main share index down, driven by financial stocks
    * Shilling seen under pressure in days ahead

 (Adds markets close, stocks)
    By George Obulutsa
    NAIROBI, July 24 (Reuters) - Shares in Equity Bank 
slipped on Thursday ahead of half-year results due out next
week, driving Kenya's benchmark equities index lower, while the
Kenyan shilling held steady.
    Nairobi's main NSE-20 Share Index closed 19.93
points, or 0.4 percent, lower at 4,883.75 points.
    Equity Bank ended the session 1.6 percent lower at 44.75
shillings a share, while another lender, Housing Finance
, closed down 2.2 percent at 44.75 shillings.
    "For Equity, we should be expecting volatility ... because
they are due to announce next week their half-year results,"
said Maureen Kirigua, research analyst at Sterling Investment
Bank, adding investors had booked profits on Housing Finance
after a rally in recent weeks.
    On the money markets, commercial banks quoted the shilling
at 87.80/90 to the dollar at the close of trade at 1300 GMT,
little changed from Wednesday's close of 87.80/88.00. Traders
expect it to stay in a range of 87.70 to 88.20 in coming days.
    The shilling was expected to weaken once importers - which
are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the currency to
strengthen - come in to buy dollars to pay for their end-month
obligations, traders said.
    "The shilling should be under pressure, though right now
it's supported because the importer bids are below where the
market is trading," a senior trader at one commercial bank said.
    Energy firms wanted dollars but were seeking to buy at below
87.80/90, the trader said.
    On the secondary market, government bonds valued at 2.66
billion shillings were traded, compared with 2.45 billion
shillings traded a day before.
    
               ...........................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:
                                    
            
 
 (Editing by Edmund Blair and Mark Potter)
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