NAIROBI (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling held steady against the dollar on Thursday as the market awaited the outcome of an election petition on last week's presidential vote, while demand for greenback by importers remained subdued.
At 0709 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 85.30/50 to the dollar, barely changed from Wednesday's close of 85.25/45.
"The shilling will remain in a narrow range of 85.20-85.80 as the market waits for the outcome of election petition," said a senior trader at one commercial bank.
Uhuru Kenyatta's victory in a close presidential race last week has been contested in the Supreme Court by the runner-up, Raila Odinga, on grounds of fraud.
The shilling has gained 1 percent since the Presidential result was announced, lifted by a return of business confidence and reduced dollar demand by importers who had accumulated long positions in the run-up to the election.
The local currency is nearly 1 percent stronger against the dollar so far this year.
Traders said the shilling will get some support from the central bank's continued liquidity mop ups and the inactivity of the importers.
"Sentiment is mildly positive for the shilling after the largely peaceful elections and is likely to make more gains in the days ahead," said Commercial Bank of Africa in a daily report.