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Kenya's shilling weakens to 100 against dollar, fresh 3 and half year low

By Reuters | July 6th 2015

NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenya's shilling weakened on Monday to a fresh three-and-a-half year low, Reuters data showed, hitting the 100 level against the dollar for the first time since October 2011.

Traders said the shilling started weakening in early trade due to concerns of a widening current account deficit and on a stronger dollar globally after Greeks voted against bailout conditions demanded by their creditors.

"It's because of the Greek vote. The Greek vote caused the Euro to go down, or rather it caused the dollar to strengthen globally," a senior trader at one commercial bank said.

At 0757 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 99.95/100.15 to the dollar, compared with Friday's close of 99.70/80. It had earlier hit 100.05/15.

On Friday, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said the current account deficit widened to 101.5 billion shillings in the first quarter of this year from a deficit of 63.8 billion shillings in first quarter of 2014.

"I have seen some information on the current account widening even further. When we see such news it tells you that the theme (weakening shilling) is going to continue. It's just people taking positions based on news," the senior trader said.

The shilling is still trading off an all-time low of 107 it hit in Oct. 2011.

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