Kenyan shilling stable, supported by high debt yields

Kenyan shilling stable, supported by high debt yields

Kenya’s shilling was little changed on Monday with foreign investor inflows, driven by high government debt yields, supporting the local currency.

Stocks were down. By the 1330 GMT official close, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 102.00/10 to the dollar, compared with Friday’s close of 101.90/102.10.

The shilling has gained in recent weeks as offshore investors send in dollars to buy government debt.

Yields on the benchmark 91-day paper slipped at last week’s auction to 19.471 percent but remain far above normal levels. Yields on the 182 and 364-day Treasury bills were above 21 percent at last week’s auction.

“We are stuck in a range,” said one Nairobi-based trader.

“It’s only the central bank that will give us direction. Are they willing to let the shilling gradually weaken?” In the equity market, the benchmark NSE 20 index fell 12.08 points to close at 3856.75, almost reaching its lowest level since August 2012.

In the debt market, bonds worth 377 million shillings ($3.70 million) were traded, compared with the previous session’s 472.6 million shillings.

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