Bloomberg News

Kenya Shilling Snaps Two-Day Rally as Companies Store Dollars

March 29, 2012

Kenya’s shilling snapped a two-day rally, weakening the most in two weeks, as businesses sought to accumulate dollars following its recent gain.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy depreciated as much as 0.8 percent to 83.20 and was trading 0.7 percent weaker at 83.13 to the dollar at 11:57 a.m. in Nairobi. A close at this level will be the largest decline since March 16, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The shilling has weakened on increased dollar demand driven by the recent good levels of the shilling, attracting buyers to accumulate dollars ahead of the new month,” Jeremiah Kendagor, acting head of trading at Nairobi-based Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd. (KNCB), said in a phone interview.

The shilling had strengthened 0.8 percent in the two previous sessions, the longest winning streak in two weeks, to close yesterday at 82.53 per dollar.

Tanzania’s shilling appreciated on increased dollar supplies from the mining industry. The currency of the second- biggest economy in East Africa gained as much as 0.6 percent to 1,585.75 and last traded 0.3 percent stronger at 1,590.

“The shilling has gained against the dollar as businesses from the mining sector are offloading dollars into the market with little demand coming in,” Yonoh Mtengule, chief economist at National Bank of Commerce, said by phone from Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital.

The Ugandan shilling also snapped a two-day rally, to weaken the most in almost 4 weeks. The currency of the third- biggest economy in East Africa depreciated 0.8 percent to 2,518.50 at 12:26 p.m., the largest decline since March 5, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

-- Editors: Peter Branton, Alan Purkiss

To contact the reporter on this story: Johnstone Ole Turana in Nairobi at jturana@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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