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Kenya’s Shilling Weakens First Time in Two Days on Dollar Demand

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s shilling weakened against the dollar for the first time in two days on increased demand for the U.S currency.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy depreciated as much as 0.5 percent before paring its decline to 0.1 percent at 83.55 at 2:06 p.m. in Nairobi. The shilling closed at 83.50 yesterday, the highest in almost eight months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The weakening is due to increase residual demand following the strengthening of the shilling with businesses seeking to buy at these new levels,” John Muli, a dealer at Nairobi-based African Banking Corp., said in a phone interview today.

The shilling depreciated 19 percent in the first ten months, making it the world’s worst performer against the dollar, reaching 106.75 on Oct. 11. It recouped all its losses in the fourth quarter, appreciating 19 percent since Nov. 1 to date, making it the best performing currency among more than 170 currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

Uganda’s currency weakened against the dollar for the first time in twelve trading days, depreciating 0.6 percent to 2,374.50 while the Tanzanian shilling weakened 0.1 percent to trade 1,587 per dollar at 2:06 p.m. in Dar es Salaam.

To contact the reporters on this story: Johnstone Ole Turana in Nairobi at jturana@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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