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Stock market: Bearish sentiment pushes returns to negative

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By Nkiruka Nnorom

Following the consistent bearish run that has dominated the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, in the last two months the year-to-date, YtD, return yesterday relapsed to negative zone closing the day’s trading at -0.4 percent.

Nigerian Stock Exchange

This was after NSE was adjudged one of the best performing exchanges in the world in 2017 having recorded a huge 48 percent return during the year.

At the close of trading yesterday, the key performance indicator, All Share Index, ASI, settled at 38,104.54 points compared to 38,243.19 points at which it opened the year, a development market analysts attributed to investors’ perception of country risk ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“We are entering election cycle and the political development is trying to command attention right now. So, investors may want to be very cautious in order not to make some investment decisions that will be eroded by political events,” said Sewa Wusu, Head, Investment Advisory, SCM Capital. Johnson Chukwu, CEO/Managing Director, Cowry Asset Management, had said in a forum that the market is likely to record continuous drop given the challenging macroeconomic environment in the build up to the general election.

Further analysis, however, showed that the market capitalisation of listed equities remained positive at N13.804 trillion at the close of transaction as against N13.609 trillion at the beginning of the year.

Analysis of the sectoral performance showed that activity was mixed across the sectors with the consumer goods sector recording the biggest yearly decline of 8.9 percent. This was followed by the industrial goods sector, which declined by 2.9 percent and the banking sector with 0.3 percent.

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