Shilling falls to lowest since mid-August on election jitters

The Kenyan shilling dropped to 103.75/85 per dollar on Monday, its lowest level since mid-August, mainly due to concerns about potential violence during a repeat presidential scheduled for Oct. 26, traders said.

They said the drop prompted the central bank to intervene, pumping in dollars to curb the volatility. The shilling had closed Thursday’s session at 103.20/40 per dollar. Markets were closed on Friday for a public holiday.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has told supporters to boycott the election, saying polls won’t be free and fair. His call for national protests has raised fears that opposition supporters may be drawn into confrontations with police.

The shilling has been fairly stable since the Supreme Court nullified the Aug. 8 re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sept. 1, defying steep losses in other assets like shares.

But traders said foreigners were pulling their funds out ahead of the repeat poll while some clients were buying their dollar requirements in advance, piling pressure on the shilling.

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