Business news feedKenya shilling edges down against the dollar, petition eyed


Posted on Monday, 18 March 2013 07:35

Kenya shilling edges down against the dollar, petition eyed

March 18, 2013, 9:36 am

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling inched down against the dollar on Monday due to importer demand for the greenback, but traders said a court challenge to the outcome of a presidential election was still a concern for the market.At 0700 GMT, leading commercial banks posted the shilling at 85.75/85 per dollar, slightly down from Friday's close of 85.55/65."Some demand for dollars is creeping in as life gets back to normal," said Christopher Muiga, a senior trader at Kenya Commercial Bank.He said the market was keeping an eye on the petition filed at the country's supreme court by defeated presidential contender Raila Odinga against the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as President-elect on March 4.Odinga's complaint threatens to prolong the period of uncertainty shadowing east Africa's largest economy.Analysts say a swift, transparent resolution of the row will be critical to restoring Kenya's reputation as a stable democracy, after post-election violence in early 2008.The six supreme court judges are legally required to conclude the case within the next two weeks.If Odinga wins his challenge, it would mean a new presidential race that would unnerve markets that have rallied after the vote.Kenya's stock market, which surged 7 percent in the two days after the peaceful conclusion of the March 4 vote, then suffered three consecutive days of falls. Traders said the Supreme Court petition had unnerved foreign investors.Technical charts were pretty neutral about the shilling on Monday, showing its resistance at 86.20 and support at 84.20, with a daily range of 85.40-86.00 per dollar.

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