The Nigerian stocks market rose by 1.98 per cent amid bargain hunting activity in the first week of February. The All-Share Index (ASI) appreciated by 866.23 points or 1.98 per cent week-on-week to 44,639.99 points.
Accordingly, the Year-to-Date return improved to 16.73 per cent. Similarly, the market capitalisation gained N327 billion to close at N16.019 trillion. Most of the sectored gauges rose, the Industrial Goods led with a gain of 5.32 per cent. The Banking Index followed with a gain of 2.11 per cent and Insurance Index posted positive returns of 1.35 per cent.
Meanwhile, during the week, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) commenced implementation of the amended Pricing Methodology and Par Value Rules, aimed at making the market more efficient by improving liquidity and narrowing spreads.
The total volume of shares traded for last week went down by 54.34 per cent to 3.268 billion shares worth N28.123 billion in 35,761 deals. Trading in the top three equities namely, FCMB Group, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria and Skye Bank, accounted for 1.181 billion shares worth N2.830 billion in 5,219 deals, contributing 36.14 per cent and 10.06 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
Market breadth was positive as 49 equities appreciated in price higher than 30 of the previous week, 42 equities depreciated in price, lower than 44 equities of the previous week, while 81 equities remained unchanged lower than 98 equities recorded in the preceding week.
Aiico Insurance led the gainers table for the week by 35.59 per cent to close at 80 kobo per share. Unity Bank followed with a gain of 31.75 per cent to close at N1.66, while Wema Bank appreciated by 31.58 per cent to close at N1.50 per share.
On the other side, Lasaco Assurance led the losers’ table by 28 per cent to close at 36 kobo per share. Associated Bus Company followed with a decline of 20 per cent to close at 40 kobo, while Law Union and Rock Insurance shed 16.67 per cent to close at 80 kobo per share.
Outlook For This Week
This week, capital market analysts’ anticipated slight increase in the NSE-ASI week-on-week, as investors reposition in the market for anticipated corporate results.
Analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said that “Whilst improving macroeconomic conditions and still-positive market fundamentals buoy our long term positive outlook for equities; investors taking position ahead of the earnings release season also suggest that legroom for short term gains still exist.”
Market activities for the month of February, Cordros Capital said that “our outlook for Nigerian equities remains positive, supported by improving macroeconomic conditions and still-positive market fundamentals. Plus, we look for investors taking position ahead of fourth quarter, 2017 earnings season.”
Also APT Securities and Funds Limited said that “We expect the market to respond more to fundamentals and improved economy conditions in the new trading week.”
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