The downtrend in the Nigerian equities market persisted last week, as sustained sell offs in market bellwethers weighed on overall performance.
Consequently, the NSE All Share Index (ASI) shed 379.58 points or 1.18 per cent to close at 31,678.70 points. Similarly, Year-to-Date loss expanded to 17.17 per cent and market capitalisation shed N139 billion Week-on-Week (W-o-W) to close at N11.565 trillion.
Performance across sectors was mixed. The Insurance index gained the most, up 1.38 per cent on the back of price appreciation in Continental Reinsurance and Aiico Insurance. Similarly, the Consumer Goods and the Oil & Gas indices gained 1.08 per cent and 0.25 per cent W-o-W respectively due to investors taking positions in Nestle Nigeria and International Breweries, Mobil Nigeria and Total Nigeria.
On the flip side, the Industrial and Banking indices declined by 5.28 per cent and 1.79 per cent W-o-W respectively due to sell-offs in Dangote Cement, Lafarge Africa, Guaranty Trust Bank and Access Bank.
Market breadth was positive with 30 gainers and 24 losers. Prestige Assurance led the gainers table by 41.07 per cent to close at 79 kobo per share. PZ Cussons Nigeria followed with a gain of 18.33 per cent to close at N10.33, while Consolidated Hallmark Insurance rose by 15.15 per cent to close at 38 kobo per share.
On the other side, Ikeja Hotel led the decliners table by 18.54 per cent to close at N1.67 per share. Lafarge Africa followed with a loss of 12.50 per cent to close at N14 and Jaiz Bank declined by 8.89 per cent to close at 41 kobo per share.
Meanwhile, a total turnover of 1.282 billion shares worth N23.142 billion in 11,467 deals were traded last week by investors on the floor of the Exchange in contrast to a total of 1.285 billion shares valued at N11.539 billion that exchanged hands previous week in 13,245 deals.
Outlook For This Week
In the new week, analysts at Cowry Asset Management Limited expected the local bourse to close negatively as bearish activity is sustained, saying that speculators are expected to continue scrapping the market for short term gains amid attractive valuations and dividend yields.
Analysts at Cordros Capital said that “in the short to medium term, we expect the negative performance for the equities market to persist, amidst growing political concerns ahead 2019 elections, and absence of a positive market trigger. However, positive macroeconomic fundamentals remain supportive of recovery in the long term.”