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Kenya Shilling Drops 3rd Day on Dollar Demand From Oil Importers

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Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s shilling weakened for a third day, the longest losing streak in a month, on increased dollar demand from oil importers.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy declined less than 0.1 percent to 86.07 a dollar and traded at 86.05 a dollar as of 1:06 p.m. in Nairobi, the capital. A close at this level will be the longest losing streak since Nov. 5, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The shilling, which had support from dollar inflows from the tea sector, has slightly weakened due to demand for dollars from the energy sector,” Chris Muiga a senior dealer at Nairobi-based Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd., said by telephone. “With demand for dollar picking up due to the festive season, it’s expected to be on the back-foot going forward.”

Businesses usually import more products as they prepare for increased sales during the Christmas and year-end period. Christians account for 87 percent of Kenya’s 38 million population, according to the CIA World Factbook.

The Central Bank of Kenya offered to sell 2 billion shillings ($23 million) of seven-day repurchase agreements, a bank official, who asked not to be identified in line with policy, said by phone.

The Ugandan shilling weakened 0.4 percent to 2,690.5 a dollar, while the Tanzanian shilling depreciated 0.1 percent to 1,604 a dollar.

To contact the reporter 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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