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Kenyan Shilling, Stocks Continue Gains on Peaceful Elections

March 5 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s shilling strengthened to its strongest level in more than four months and stocks were poised for a fourth day of gains after yesterday’s national elections passed off peacefully.

The currency of East Africa’s biggest economy surged 1 percent to 85.15 per dollar by 10:29 a.m. in the capital, Nairobi, heading for its strongest closing level since Oct. 30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. On the Nairobi Securities Exchange, 11 stocks gained, six declined and 44 were trading unchanged.

“The shilling has strengthened a little bit due to the fact that so far we remain peaceful despite the relatively slow tallying of votes,” Raphael Agung, a senior trader at Nairobi-based Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd., said by phone.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta held an early lead of 54 percent in Kenya’s presidential election as his main rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, had 41 percent of the vote with results from about a third of the 31,982 polling stations counted, according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s website.

The election was the first since a disputed vote five years ago triggered violence in which more than 1,100 people died and another 350,000 were forced to flee their homes.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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