March 19, 2020 / 9:08 AM / 18 days ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Kenya's shilling weakens to its lowest level since September 2015

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    NAIROBI, March 19 (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling
weakened to 104.65/85 per dollar on Thursday, its lowest level
in nearly four and a half years, mainly due to concerns about
the potential drop of hard currency inflows caused by the new
coronavirus outbreak, traders said.
    Last Friday, the East African nation confirmed its first
case of the coronavirus, causing the shilling to weaken and
forcing trading on the Nairobi bourse to be halted after a steep
drop. 
    The confirmed cases have since jumped to seven and the
government has shut down schools indefinitely, banned large
public gatherings and limited entry into the country for people
from countries with high cases of the virus. 
    Businesses which rely on export markets, like flower
growers, have started feeling the heat, deepening the worries in
the market about the supply of hard currencies. 
    "It's becoming a bit chaotic," said a senior trader from one
commercial bank.
    The shilling had closed Wednesday's session at 104.10/30 per
dollar and traders said it had also been hit by pressure from
foreign investors after global markets slumped.
    "The local clients are on the same page with global
clients... Everyone wants cash and they want that cash in
dollars," said a second trader at another bank.
    
               ...........................Shilling spot rates
                  .....................Shilling forward rates
                           .......................Cross rates
         ..................................Local contributors
           .......................Central Bank of Kenya Index
          .....................Kenyan Bonds contributor pages
                          ...............Treasury bill yields
        ..................Central bank open market operations
        .........................Horizontal repo transactions
         ,       ................Daily interbank lending rate
              .............................Kenya Bond pricing
          .................................NSE-20 Share Index
          .................................NSE-25 Share Index
         .................................NSE All Share Index
             ...........................FT NSE Kenya 15 Index
             .......................... FT NSE Kenya 25 Index
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 (Reporting by John Ndiso; writing by Omar Mohammed and Duncan
Miriri; editing by George Obulutsa)
  
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