NAIROBI (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling weakened on Friday on corporate demand for the dollar in a cautious market still digesting the outcome of a closely fought presidential election, traders said.
Commercial banks posted the shilling at 85.60/80 to the dollar at 0700 GMT, slightly weaker than Thursday's close of 85.30/50.
"There has been some corporate dollar demand this morning, but not much," said Chris Muiga, a senior trader at Kenya Commercial Bank.
Demand for the dollar, mainly from oil importers, has been subdued this week, helping stabilise the local currency, which has risen half a percent so far this year.
Traders said they expected the shilling to trade in the 85.20-85.80 range in coming sessions, but said investors were watching for the outcome of a Presidential election result petition contesting Uhuru Kenyatta being declared the winner in a tightly fought election on March 4.
"With the political uncertainties still looming in the air, we expect market players to trend cautiously ahead of the weekend," a Commercial Bank of Africa report said.
Raila Odinga, the defeated presidential contender and the outgoing prime minister, is expected to file a petition challenging the presidential result by Monday.
The shilling has gained 0.7 percent since the presidential result was announced on Saturday, 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.