stories By OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos
The bearish run on the Nigerian equities market was extended last week, as sell pressure intensified across bellwether stocks.
As a result, the All-Share Index (ASI) shed 2.54 per cent, the largest weekly drop since mid-September, to close at 30,874.17 points. Likewise, market capitalisation shed N241 billion Week-on-Week (W-o-W) to close at N11.271 trillion.
Performance across sectors was mixed. NSE Oil & Gas Index, NSE Industrial Index and NSE Banking Index plunged by 5.12 per cent, 3.36 per cent and 2.99 per cent respectively to 276.03 points, 1,244.53 points and 398.47 points respectively. However, NSE Insurance Index and NSE Consumer Goods Index and rose by 4.71 per cent as investors scrambled for shares of soon-to-be-acquired Continental Reinsurance and 1.08 per cent to 126.37 points, 735.02 points respectively.
Market breadth remained negative with 41 losers and 25 gainers. Continental Reinsurance led the gainers table by 33.33 per cent to close at N2 per share. Beta Glass followed with a gain of 9.98 per cent to close at N68.30, while Cutix rose by 9.64 per cent to close at N1.82, per share. On the other side, Diamond Bank led the decliners table by 31.58 per cent to close at 65 kobo per share. Prestige Assurance followed with a loss of 30.38 per cent to close at 55 kobo and Unity Bank declined by 18.82 per cent to close at 69 kobo per share.
Meanwhile, a total turnover of 1.199 billion shares worth N14.277 billion in 15,841 deals were traded last week by investors on the floor of the Exchange in contrast to a total of 1.282 billion shares valued at N23.142 billion that exchanged hands previous week in 11,467 deals.
Outlook for the week
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said that “following four days of losses in the week, we expect to see some bargain hunting in early trades this week. However, we do not expect this to be sustained all through the week as the overall bearish sentiment, stoked by political uncertainty, is expected to weigh on market performance. Thus, we maintain our bearish outlook over the near-term.”
Analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said that “we reiterate our negative outlook for the equities market in the short-to-medium term, amidst political concerns surrounding the 2019 elections, and the absence of a positive market trigger. However, positive macroeconomic fundamentals remain supportive of a recovery in the long term.”