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Kenya’s bourse benchmark index sustains upward movement

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) benchmark index sustained an upward trajectory Monday, gaining 11.70 points to stand at 3,712.13.

The NSE 20 Share Index crossed the 3,700.00 mark last Friday pushed up by rise in prices of various large stocks, a trend that continued in Monday trading.

Equity Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Athi River Mining were among the top gainers that helped lift the bourse.

However, turnover declined with the market opening the week with a total of 14 million shares valued at 4 million dollars, against 29.8 million shares valued at 7 million dollars posted last Friday.

Equity Bank was the top traded stock after moving 3 million shares at 0.39 dollars, an increase of 1.3 percent.

Safaricom, Kenya’s leading telecom, moved 2.9 million shares at unchanged price of 0.23 dollars to close the day at the second spot.

Cooperative Bank followed after moving 2.1 million shares traded at unchanged price of 0.14 dollars while Kenya Commercial Bank followed the same number of shares to end at position four.

Insurance firm CFC moved 507,100 shares at 0.11 dollars to close the list of the most traded stocks during the session.

At the bond market, turnover remained flat at 13 million dollars, with foreign investors’ participation at the bourse standing at 70 percent.



Kenya shilling falls on surge in dollar outflows

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenya shilling started the week lower on Monday, weakening against the U.S. dollar as outflows outweighed inflows.

The shilling exchanged against the dollar at an average of 103.86, a decline from 103.84 at the end of last week.

The Central Bank on Monday quoted the shilling at 103.87, down from 103.84 on Friday, with the currency sliding despite the regulator selling dollars to buttress it.

On the other hand, commercial banks put the value of the shilling against the dollar at between 103.85 and 104.05, with traders noting there was high dollar demand from various sectors, including manufacturing and oil.

Last week, latest data showed that the Central Bank used 88 million dollars to support the shilling as forex reserves fell from 5.23 months of import cover to 5.17 months of import cover.

The Kenya shilling last week remained stable mainly driven by Central Bank support, inflows from horticulture exporters, which offset the dollar demand by oil importers.

Analysts noted that shilling would remain relatively stable in the short term, boosted by CBK’s support as can be seen by the decline in the forex reserve levels. On a year to date basis, the shilling has depreciated against the dollar by 1.4 percent.



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