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Mixed sentiment to trail equities market this week

By Nkiruka Nnorom

MIXED sentiment will prevail in the equities market with negative undertone this week, operators in the market have said.

This is even as investors lose N2.7 billion at the end of trading last week.

Activity at the local bourse was slightly bearish as sell-offs in major stocks marginally surpassed the bargain hunting activities. Although, benchmark index – the All Share Index, ASI, posted gains on three of the five trading sessions, the ASI declined by 0.02 percent to settle at 30,866.82 points. Market capitalisation decreased by N2.7 billion or 0.02 percent to N11.3 trillion.

Stockmarket

Also, market sentiment towards banking and consumer goods counters was mildly positive but was offset by the losses recorded by market heavyweights like Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Lafarge Africa.

The trend, analysts at Meristem Securities said, would persist at the turn of the week in the absence of any major event capable of reversing the current trend.

Afrinvest Securities in its weekly report, said: “Following three days of appreciation this week, we anticipate that investors will take profit in early trades this week although we expect an upturn by the middle of the week.

Nevertheless, we maintain a cautious outlook in the near term as overall investor sentiment remains weak on the back of political uncertainty.”

Also, analysts at Vetiva Capital stated that while bargain hunting has been more visible on the exchange, notable selling has also persisted across select stocks. They, however, said that there would be slightly positive start to the week’s trading as investors continue to snap up down-beaten stocks.

Analysis of activities in the market showed that performance across sectors was largely bullish as three of the five sectors appreciated.

The oil & gas sector gained the most, rising by two percent on the back of buy interest in Oando Plc (+9.6%) and Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc (+1.6%). Similarly, the banking and consumer goods sectors also rose by 0.9 percent and 0.6 percent respectively due to bargain hunting in FBN Holdings Plc (+7.0%), Guaranty Trust Bank (+1.6%) and Nestle Nigeria Plc (+4.3%) .

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