By Nkiruka Nnorom

INVESTMENT analysts have said that transactions in the equities market this week will be dominated by profit takers. This is even as some operators have said that investors would trade cautiously as the earning season has come to a close.INVESTMENT analysts have said that transactions in the equities market this week will be dominated by profit takers. This is even as some operators have said that investors would trade cautiously as the earning season has come to a close.“With apparent profit-taking on some banking names despite the release of better than expected performance from Zenith Bank Plc, we anticipate cautious trading at week open,” said analysts at Vetiva Capital Limited, a Lagos based investment house, last weekend.

According to equity analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited, the equities market may trade sideways in early trades due to profit taking in consumer goods counters which could offset bargain hunting in banking stocks whose earnings are yet to be released.Meanwhile, the equities market closed bullish last week following four days of bullish trading. The week started off on a positive note, closing higher on the first three trading sessions due to sustained appreciation in consumer goods companies. By Thursday, profit taking ensued in stocks that had continuously appreciated, which dragged the benchmark index to close lower. However, market staged a comeback on Friday following the release of impressive half year financial result by Zenith Bank Plc.Consequently, the twin market indicators – the All Share Index, ASI, and the market capitalisation – rose by 2.1 per cent to close at 38,198.60 points and N13.166 trillion from 37,425.15 points and N12.899 trillion respectively.

Further breakdown showed that performance in the sectors was mixed as two out of the five indices rose week-on-week. The consumer goods sector advanced the most, rising by 9.7 per cent W-o-W on account of sustained appreciations in Guinness Nigeria, Nestle and Nigerian Breweries Plc which rose by 27.1 per cent, 17.7 per cent and 8.7 per cent respectively. The industrial goods sector followed, recording 2.4 per cent return as a result of gains in Lafarge Africa and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, CCNN, which rose by 8.8 per cent and 6.8 per cent respectively.On the flip side, the insurance sector declined the most, dropping by three per cent following losses on NEM Insurance and Continental Reinsurance which fell by 18.5 per cent and 12.2 per cent respectively.

Similarly, the oil and gas and banking sectors went down by 2.8 per cent and 0.9 per cent due to declines in  Forte Oil Plc (-10.6 per cent), Conoil Plc (-10.5 per cent), Zenith Bank Plc (-5.8 per cent) and GTB which fell by -1.0 per cent).A total turnover of 1.518 billion shares worth N28.868 billion in 23,053 deals were traded by investors in contrast to a total of 2.518 billion shares valued at N114.117 billion that exchanged hands the previous week in 23,546 deals. The financial services sector, measured by volume, led the activity chart with 1.178 billion shares valued at N14.445 billion traded in 11,520 deals; thereby contributing 77.63 per cent and 50.04 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

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