News Column

Kenya shilling steady, shares falter

February 7, 2014

Reuters -1

The Kenyan shilling was little changed on Friday while the main share index edged down as it felt the effects of the emerging-market sell-off.

At the 1300 GMT close of trade, commercial banks posted the shilling at 86.00/10 per dollar, unchanged from the previous day's close.

Market participants said the shilling was likely to be hemmed into a tight band of 85.80-86.30 until importers started to order more dollars.

"There is pretty weak demand and everybody is looking for lower levels to start putting in their hedges," said a trader with a leading commercial bank.

Stock market

In the stock market, the benchmark NSE-20 share index slipped by a quarter of a percentage point to close at 4,831.80 points, mainly because of losses in national carrier Kenya Airways and telecoms firm Safaricom.

Shares in both fell by almost a percentage point to close at Sh11.85 each. Retailer Uchumi Supermarkets dropped 1.4 per cent to close at Sh17.75.

Market participants blamed the decline on the recent sell-off in emerging markets.

Attention may shift next week to local factors like corporate earnings, they said.

"We are expecting it to normalise. The effect of the emerging-market selloff will have levelled out," said Daniel Kuyoh, a research analyst at Kingdom Securities.

In the debt market, bonds worth Sh1.05 billion were traded during the session, close to the volume of Sh1.06 billion worth of bonds traded in the previous session

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Source: Business Daily (Kenya)

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