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Kenya Shilling Gains to One-Week High on Tea Earnings, Europe

Kenya’s shilling strengthened to a one-week high versus the dollar as demand for the U.S. currency weakened and as inflows from a sale of tea were expected to come in, a dealer said.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy appreciated as much as 1.4 percent to 79.75 per dollar and traded 0.4 percent up at 80.55 at 5 p.m. in Nairobi, the strongest since Nov. 25, from a close of 80.90 yesterday.

“Most guys are trimming their positions as the year ends,” Mark Orubia, a treasury dealer at Nairobi-based African Banking Corp., said by telephone today. “We are also expecting inflows from the agricultural sector to start coming in.”

Kenya is the world’s biggest exporter of black tea. The top prices of most grades of African tea rose this week at a sale in the port city of Mombasa, Africa Tea Brokers Ltd. said Nov. 30. The top prices of 15 grades climbed, eight fell and one was unchanged, the broker said.

The euro was higher versus the dollar after the European Central Bank left interest rates at a record low and ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said it will maintain emergency liquidity for banks to prevent the region’s debt crisis from spreading, easing concern about risk and boosting emerging- market assets.

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