By Peter Egwuatu
THE equities market will continue to be the centre of attraction for investors this week as mixed reactions are expected in the market.
Analysts and market operators have forecast that the market will face a mix of profit taking and bargain hunting.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, recorded sustained bullish run last week, which led to the increase in twin market performance measures, NSE All Share Index, ASI and market capitalisation, by 607 bases points (bps) each to 33,276.68 points and N11.50 trillion respectively.
Also, on a year-to-date basis, the NSE ASI increased by 23.82 per cent. On the sector gauges, the NSE Banking Index, the NSE Consumer Goods Index and the NSE Industrial Index revved by 491 bps, 386 bps and 796 bps to close at 394.94 points, 806.05 points and 2,001.22 points respectively.
A total turnover of 3.100 billion shares worth N29.180 billion in 33,677deals were traded last week by investors on the floor of the exchange in contrast to a total of 2.319 billion shares valued at N23.813 billion that exchanged hands penultimate week in 22,310 deals.
The Financial Services Industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 2.577 billion shares valued at N16.524 billion traded in 19,831 deals; thus contributing 83.15 per cent and 56.63 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Conglomerates Industry followed with 173.544 million shares worth N985.456 million in 1,620 deals. The third place was occupied by Consumer Goods Industry with a turnover of 161.347 million shares worth N3.540 billion in 5,275 deals.
Trading in the top three equities namely – FBN Holding Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, and Access Bank Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 1.084 billion shares worth N6.522 billion in 7,095 deals, contributing 34.98 per cent and 22.35 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value.
Expectation for the week:
Meanwhile, analysts from Cowry Asset Management said: “Whilst we expect the strong buying sentiment to filter into trading at week open, we emphasize caution on select stocks that have risen significantly in the past weeks. In contrast to the emergence of profit taking on larger Tier I names, Sterling Bank has held on to gains, advancing 47 per cent over eight sessions to close last week at a 2017-high of N1.06. The bank has returned 39 per cent Year-to-Date, YtD.”
Analysts from Meristem Securities has stated that “In the coming week, while we expect the positive sentiments to continue, we do not rule out the possibility of profit taking, as most counters are currently trading at their year highs.
Also, analysts from Vetiva Capital Management said “This week, we expect a mix of profit taking and bargain hunting activities amid boost in investor confidence.”