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Shilling steady despite high corporate dollar demand

The shilling exchanged at 103.67 against the dollar on Thursday. FILE PHOTO | NMG
The shilling exchanged at 103.67 against the dollar on Thursday. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The shilling exchanged at 103.67 against the dollar at 3.30pm Thursday, little changed from 103.69 on closing Wednesday despite the end-month dollar demand from corporates.

Traders see the Kenyan currency firming to pre-Supreme Court’s ruling (103.15-103.30 on September 1) if the contested October 26 presidential poll outcome is not challenged within constitutional seven days from October 30.

President Uhuru Kenyatta won the repeat poll boycotted by the main Opposition, with 98 per cent of the vote, which had a 38.8 per cent turnout.

“Unless there is some unexpected external or internal shock—that’s when the local unit will see a bit of volatility — the market has more or less priced in and got used to the end-month demand,” Kenneth Minjire, head of securities at Genghis Capital, said.

“There’s nothing out of the ordinary. The variables are more or less normal on average.”

The shilling is likely to be helped by diaspora remittances — which hit a record $166.4 million (Sh17.18 billion) August — and tourism receipts, both of which tend to rise towards the end of the year.

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