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Kenya Shilling Gains Most in a Week on Tighter Supply, Inflation

Kenya’s shilling strengthened the most in more than a week, paring its quarterly decline, as the central bank withdrew money supply for a second consecutive day and inflation slowed.

The currency of East Africa’s largest economy appreciated 0.2 percent to close at 84.20 in Nairobi, the biggest gain since June 20, trimming its depreciation in the second quarter to 1.6 percent.

Kenya tightened liquidity by accepting 3.5 billion shillings ($41.6 million) of bids for repurchase agreements maturing in seven days at a weighted average rate of 17.525 percent, a central bank official who asked not to be named in line with policy said today. Bids received totaled 12.3 billion shillings. The sale today is the second auction after the bank stayed out for five days since June 20 through June 26, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Inflation fell for the seventh straight month to 10.1 percent in June from 12.2 percent in May, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said in an e-mailed statement today. Kenya’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate to a record 18 percent last year to curb price gains and support the shilling, and has kept it there this year.

The bank also accepted 3 billion shillings of bids for 28-day term-auction deposits at 17.49 percent, 250 million shillings for 21-day TADs at 17.5 percent and 250 million shillings for 14-day TADs at a weighted average rate of 17.25 percent, the official said.

Longer-tenure term auction deposits have been introduced “as an additional instrument for liquidity management,” the bank said June 5.

Tanzania’s shilling gained 0.5 percent to 1,572 per dollar, cutting its appreciation in the second quarter to 1.2 percent. Uganda’s shilling weakened second time this week, depreciating 0.2 percent to 2,475 per dollar, reducing its advance in the three months to 1.3 percent.

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