NAIROBI, March 7 The Kenyan shilling rose
almost 1 percent against the dollar on Thursday as investors
took heart from reassurances that Monday's presidential election
would deliver a credible result despite long delays.
Traders said commercial banks were trimming long dollar
positions following the reassurances from the electoral
commission, issued following technological hitches experienced
during the tallying of votes.
Trading in the shilling has been volatile since the
It firmed 0.8 percent to 85.90/86.10 early in Thursday's
session, clawing back most of Wednesday's losses, when fears
that delays in the announcement might see candidates challenging
the outcome of the vote knocked the local currency.
"Some people may be taking the view that the elections will
be credible. Nobody has been radical so far and that has
provided confidence for the shilling," said Duncan Kinuthia,
head of trading at Commercial Bank of Africa.
By 0655 GMT, with more than 4.5 million votes tallied,
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta had 2.4 million votes to
Prime Minister Raila Odinga's 1.8 million.
That tally would give Kenyatta more than 50 percent, which
if maintained through the count would give him an outright
victory, but there is still a long way to go as turnout was
estimated at more than 70 percent of the 14.3 million voters.
The shilling, off its 18-week high of 85.10 hit on Tuesday
after voting passed off peacefully, is down 0.2 percent against
the greenback so far this year.
The slow release of results has increased anxiety among
Kenyans and led to complaints from political parties, including
accusations of foreign meddling in the process. But on Thursday,
results from around the country looked to be emerging faster
"The gridlock seems to have been resolved. A bit of the
political noise may end soon," said a senior trader in a
commercial bank. "With the tallying now going smoothly, we are
likely to see the final results in the near future."