NAIROBI, KENYA: The Kenyan shilling dropped to a new record low against the dollar on Wednesday, dragged down by demand for hard currencies from importers who are getting back into business after the state started to ease coronavirus lockdown measures.
Traders said the shilling was trading at 108.20 per dollar in the afternoon, lower than its morning level of 107.75/95, and well below its previous all-time
low hit in 2011.
“The shilling is literally crashing,” said a market participant who did not wish to be named.
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On Tuesday, The Kenyan central bank sold dollars to support the shilling against increased dollar demand from the energy sector and merchandise importers as business activity resumed following lifting of COVID-19 movement restrictions, traders said.
Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 107.70/90 per dollar, compared with 106.65/85 at Monday’s close.
“There is good demand from merchandisers ...we saw some central bank of Kenya intervention in the morning,” said a senior trader from one commercial bank.