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Markets

Kenyan shilling edges down as investors flee to safety

The shilling fell close to its record low on Friday due to concerns about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
23 Mar 2020
  • The shilling fell close to its record low on Friday due to concerns about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The shilling is also being whipped by the negative sentiments and steep falls in global financial markets.

NAIROBI: The Kenyan shilling inched down against the dollar on Monday as investors continued to shun risky assets due to the coronavirus outbreak, traders said.

At 0930 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 106.50/107.00 per dollar, down from Friday's close of 106.10/30.

The wider spread is usually a sign of extreme volatility.

"It is still one way, the flight to safety," said a senior currency trader at a commercial bank.

The shilling fell close to its record low on Friday due to concerns about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, prompting the central bank to sell dollars to banks in a bid to stem the volatility.

The shilling is also being whipped by the negative sentiments and steep falls in global financial markets, traders said.

The East African nation has reported 15 cases of the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus, and the government has ordered a stop to all international passenger flights from Wednesday to control the spread of the disease.

The central bank is scheduled to announce its rate decision at about 1330 GMT on Monday after a meeting of its monetary policy committee.