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Kenya Shilling Falls to Lowest in Week on Importer Dollar Demand

Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s shilling fell to the lowest in more than a week as importers demanded the dollar.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy depreciated 1.3 percent to 103.28 per dollar at 12:39 p.m. in Nairobi, the lowest intraday level since Sept. 27.

“The weakening of the shilling is due to high demand for dollars by oil importers at a time when there is minimal inflows creating a mismatch between demand and supply,” Chris Muiga a senior trader at Nairobi-based Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd., said by phone today.

The shilling has depreciated 22 percent this year, making it the world’s worst performer against the dollar. The Central Bank of Kenya raised its benchmark interest rate by a record 4 percentage points on Sept. 5, signalling a policy shift in a bid to combat inflation and rescue the shilling.

Inflation accelerated for the eleventh consecutive month in September to 17.3 percent from 16.7 percent in August, more than triple the government’s target.

Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga will today release the findings of a team convened to make reccomendations on how to halt the depectiation of the Kenyan shilling, his office said in an e-mailed statement.

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