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Renewed interests in low price stocks buoy indices, pare losses


At the end of transactions on Friday, the gains recorded from the previous session were enough to spur a rebound of the indices at the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE).
NSE’s All-Share Index (ASI) had opened Thursday with a sharp decline and was sustained till afternoon, but rebounded as high cap stocks that suffered losses, suddenly witnessed price appreciation, thus causing changes in indices.

Consequently, at the end of last week’s transactions, which had only three trading sessions, due to a two-day public holiday, the marginal appreciation recorded within the week was able to push up the ASI and market capitalisation by 0.5 per cent.Notwithstanding, the volatility in the stock market, fueled by anxiety over Nigeria’s political direction, has continued to dictate the pace of cautious trading on the floor of NSE and made worse by assessed low consumer confidence and dwindling purchasing power.

More worrisome is also the assessment that governance has taken the back seat, with government and politicians concentrating their efforts on politicking, which has taking a toll on NSE’s activities, with tremendous apathy on trading.Already, analysts have predicted continuous oscillation, as bargain hunters take advantage of low priced stocks, as the market’s outlook remains conservative in the absence of positive catalysts, amid brewing political uncertainties.

Specifically, the Chief Research Officer of Investdata Consulting Limited, Ambrose Omodion, said: “We expect the market to oscillate, as bargain hunters take advantage of the low-price regime. Anxiety in Nigeria’s political space, caused by party leaders and politicians is heating up the system and scaring investors away.

“The market may also be impacted by the outcome of the expected second quarter Gross Domestic Product report around the corner, as the whole world watches Nigeria’s political environment ahead of the all-important 2019 general elections.“We advise investors to allow numbers guide their decisions, while repositioning in any stock, especially now that stock prices remain volatile in the midst of improving company, economic and market fundamentals.”

A further breakdown of lastweek’s transactions showed that a turnover of 968.947 million shares worth N10.246 billion was recorded in 9,654 deals, in contrast to 1.147 billion units, valued at N12.546 billion that was exchanged in 16,649 deals, during the preceding week.The financial services industry, measured by volume, led the activity chart with 874.023 million shares valued at N7.671 billion traded in 6,029 deals, thus contributing 90.2 per cent to total turnover.

The consumer goods industry followed with 26.818 million shares, worth N1.624 billion in 1,476 deals. The third place was occupied by the oil and gas industry, with a turnover of 24.795 million shares, worth N91.439 million in 752 deals.Trading in the top three equities– United Bank for Africa Plc, Nem Insurance Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, measured by volume, accounted for 503.965 million shares, worth N4.629 billion, in 1,992 deals, contributing 52.01 per cent to the total equity turnover volume.
For analysts at Codros Capital Limited: “Our outlook for equities in the near to medium term remains conservative, more so, with the brewing political concerns.

However, stable macroeconomic fundamentals remain supportive of recovery in the long term.”ASI and market capitalisation appreciated to 35,426.17 points and N12.93 trillion respectively, as all other indices finished lower, with the exception of the NSE Premium, NSE Insurance, NSE Lotus II and NSE Industrial Goods, which rose by 3.15 per cent, 0.78 per cent, 1.1 per cent and 1.96 per cent respectively, while NSE ASeM Index closed flat.

Also, 15 equities appreciated in price during the week, lower than six 16 in the previous week, as 45 equities depreciated in price, lower than 56 equities of the previous week, while 109 equities remained unchanged, higher than 97 equities recorded in the preceding week.

In this article:
Ambrose OmodionNSE
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