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UPDATE 1-Kenyan shilling steady, bank stocks push bourse higher
May 2, 2014 / 2:36 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Kenyan shilling steady, bank stocks push bourse higher

* Banking stocks push main share index higher
    * Shilling seen firming on diminished dollar demand

 (Adds markets close, bonds, stocks)
    By George Obulutsa
    NAIROBI, May 2 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling was
steady on Friday, and traders said they expected it to firm next
week as demand for dollars by importers eases and hard-currency
inflows from agriculture picks up. Stocks rose, led by bank
shares. 
    At close of trade at 1300 GMT, commercial banks quoted the
shilling at 86.80/90 to the dollar, the same as Wednesday's
close. The shilling is expected to trade in a range of 86.70 to
87.30 in the days ahead, traders said.
    Kenyan markets were closed for Labour Day on Thursday.
    "Some of the demand is being taken away, so going forward
you expect pressure to ease on the shilling," a senior trader at
one commercial bank said.    
    Traders said dollar demand from importers had subsided, and
this was expected to lend some support to the shilling. 
    "It's the beginning of the month. Let's see how demand plays
out. But it (the shilling) is expected to strengthen a bit,"
African Banking Corporation trader Julius Kiriinya said.
    He said dollar inflows from agricultural exports tend to
arrive early in the week.
    Other traders said they expected the shilling to remain
steady, as it has for most of 2014. The currency has lost 0.2
percent versus the dollar so far this year.
    On the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the main NSE-20 Share
Index closed up 10.95 points, at 4,959.91 points.
    Among the shares leading the gains were Equity Bank
 and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), which
reported a 31 percent rise in first quarter 2014 pretax profit,
closing 2 percent higher at 50 shillings.
    Equity Bank - which plans to open a telecoms services arm
this month in a bid to increase its share of the market for
mobile-phone-based financial services - rose 0.7 percent to
close at 38.50 shillings a share.
    "On KCB, its (rise is) mainly because of the release of the
results which came in on Wednesday," Augustine Misoka, trader at
Sterling Investment Bank, said. "On Equity Bank, it's really
been driven by the news that they will enter the telecom space."
    On the secondary market, government bonds valued at 2.36
billion shillings ($27.16 million) were traded, compared with
Wednesday's 2.90 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 = 86.9000 Kenyan Shillings)

 (Editing by James Macharia, Larry King)

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