Panic dollar trades and dramatic day for Kenya shilling

Kenyan currency

Kenyan currency notes of different denominations. The exchange rate closed at Sh153.20 per dollar on Thursday.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Cash hoarders who flooded the market to dump their stash of US dollars in panic trades at a time the country was receiving significant inflows from foreign buyers of the infrastructure bond and rising investor confidence caused the sharp appreciation of the Kenya shilling in the past two days.

The shilling’s surge to its strongest level since June 2023 on Thursday also came days after the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) was seen policing the forex market, persuading banks against making aggressive dollar bids in a change of tack.

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