By Nkiruka Nnorom

DESPITE recent gains recorded in the equities market, operators in the market have projected a negative close this week owing to activities of bargain hunters.

Positive investor sentiment returned to the market last week, following the significant decline registered in the previous week.

At the close of trading on Friday, investors gained N28 billion with the market capitalisation closing at N11.756 trillion from N11.728 trillion, representing 0.23 percent increase.

The All Share Index, ASI, rose by the same margin to settle at 32,200.21 points.

However, analysts at Cowry Asset Management, a Lagos-based investment banking firm said: “This week, following the conclusion of the relatively positive nine months corporate earnings season, we expect the local bourse to close in red territory amid sell pressure by speculators despite the attractive valuations and dividend yields.”

Nigerian Stock Exchange

Agreeing with them, analysts at Codros Capital, another investment banking firm, said: “Despite recent gains. we reiterate our negative outlook for the equities market in the short to medium term, amidst political concerns surrounding the 2019 elections and absence of a positive market trigger.”

But analysts at Meristem Securities expect an uptick in some of the sectors that witnessed significant profit taking within the week. Specifically, they said that the banking sector, which recorded significant sell-off last week would record an uptick as prices of several counters have fallen to reasonably attractive levels.

Proceedings in the equities market were mixed during the week, with two of the five sessions closing positive, offsetting the three other sessions of losses. Among sectoral indices, the consumer goods and oil & gas sectors were best performing, while returns were negative in the industrial goods, insurance, and banking sectors.



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