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Kenya's forex reserves fall as apex bank supports under pressure shilling

Xinhua News Agency | Mon,2017-07-17 NAIROBI, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's foreign exchange reserves declined by 52 million U.S. dollars last week as the central bank gave support to a declining shilling.
The shilling retreated to a six month low of 104.10 last week, with the regulator reportedly using its dollars to buttress it.
The reserves, as latest data from the central bank showed on Monday, fell to 7.87 billion dollars, an equivalent of 4.63 months of import.
The decline was a continuation from the previous weeks, with the dollar reserves having fallen from a peak of 8.26 billion dollars, an equivalent of 4.86 months of import cover where they stood at the end of May.
Last week, the Kenya shilling depreciated by 0.1 percent against the dollar to close at 103.9 from 103.8 the previous week, mainly driven by increased dollar demand from food and oil importers.
However, it reversed the downward trend on Friday, gaining some ground against the dollar but was weaker on Monday trading.
The central bank Monday quoted the shilling at 103.90, which was a marginal drop from Friday's 103.88.
On the other hand, commercial banks quoted the local unit at between 103.90 and 104.05, with traders noting demand for dollars was still high though inflows were rising. Enditem