NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya’s main share indices dropped on Thursday, as profit-taking broke a bounce that followed the upholding of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election by the Supreme Court, traders said.
The benchmark NSE-20 share index of blue chip shares slipped 0.33 percent, while the all-share index, fell 2.48 percent, the Nairobi Securities Exchange said.
The NSE-20 has rallied 2.9 percent since Monday’s verdict, while the all-share index has surged 5.5 percent in the wake of the ruling.
Kenyan assets, which were pummeled after the Supreme Court nullified the initial Aug. 8 presidential election on Sept. 1, have been relieved by the court’s latest verdict, which may point to stability after months of uncertainty.
Aly Khan Satchu, an independent trader and analyst, said investors were cashing in on the biggest company by market capitalisation, telecoms operator Safaricom, after it jumped 8.73 percent in the previous two days to a record high.
“It met some profit taking today which in fact set the overall tone,” he said. Safaricom fell 5.36 percent to close at 26.50 per share.
The gains in the stock market since Monday had been led by Safaricom and large cap banks like KCB.
In the currency market, the shilling rose to its highest in two months on Thursday, building on gains since the Supreme Court ruling.
At 0805 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 103.00/20 per dollar, its highest level since Sept. 15, compared with 103.15/35 at Wednesday’s close.
The shilling has strengthened from 103.80/90 since the beginning of the week, after the Supreme Court’s ruling, which dismissed two petitions seeking to nullify Kenyatta’s re-election.
Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Peter Graff