Kenyan shilling down by the impact of coronavirus

The Kenyan shilling fell to a new four-and-a-half-year low on Friday, extending its weakening streak due to persistent worries about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on export earnings.

At 0623 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 105.70/90 per dollar, a fresh low since late 2015, and down from 105.50/70 at Thursday’s close. “There is a lack of inflows, everybody is holding back onto their dollars,” said a senior currency trader from a commercial bank.

The currency tumbled to four-and-a-half-year low in Thursday’s session as turmoil in global financial markets spread spilled over into frontier economies.  The lock downs in Europe, which is Kenya’s biggest export markets for produce like flowers in Europe and source of tourists, are expected to curb its hard currency earnings temporarily.

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