Shilling under pressure against the dollar
The Kenyan shilling edged down against the dollar on Wednesday due to dollar demand from the manufacturing and energy sector outweighing inflows from diaspora remittances, traders said.
At 8 am, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 100.05/25 per dollar, compared with 99.85/100.05 at Tuesday’s close.
On March 7, the Kenyan shilling jumped to its strongest level against the dollar in more than three-and-a-half years on Thursday, buoyed by increased hard currency inflows and a drop in demand for imports, traders said.
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The shilling traded at 99.75/95 per dollar, a level it last traded at in July 2015. It has been stuck tantalisingly close to breaking the 100 level in the past two months.
A trader at another commercial bank said there had not been much demand for dollars by importers, offering further momentum to the currency.
Remittances, hard currencies sent abroad by Kenyans living abroad, surged to record highs last year, in step with earnings from the tourism sector, which also soared on the back of increased arrivals.