By Nkiruka Nnorom
AS the quarter one, Q1, 2018 earning season comes to a close, investment analysts have expressed divergent opinions on the outlook for equities this week.
While some anticipate a rebound in the market, others argue that the mixed sentiment that prevailed last week would continue.
The market had recorded a bearish performance last week as sustained profit taking in market bellwethers dragged the benchmark All Share Index, ASI, down in four of the five trading days. This resulted in decline in the ASI by 0.5 percent to 40,022.31 points and loss of N71.1 billion to the investors. Making a projection to the market direction this week, analysts at Cowry Assets Management said that the market would sustain the mixed sentiment “as the first quarter earning season winds up.”
Agreeing with them, Vetiva Capital Management, in its weekly review of the market said: “Though the market swung into positive territory at week close, we believe the underlying mixed sentiment in the market will continue to drive a sideways trading pattern on the exchange in the coming week.”
However, Cordros Capital, another investment banking firm, observed that despite the sell-offs last week, there is prospect for a positive outlook in the medium to long term, as market fundamentals remain strengthened.
Also, Afrinvest Securities, said that although the equities market performance was bearish, “we anticipate a rebound as investors take advantage of bargain hunting opportunities in the market.”
Analysis of activity in the market showed that sectorial performance was mixed as three of the five sectors closed in the green. The consumer goods sector went down by 1.9 percent on the back of 3.5 percent decline in Nigerian Breweries Plc. The industrial goods sector also slipped by 0.02 percent owing to 0.2 percent decline in Dangote Cement Plc.