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Equity market: Investors’ negative sentiment persists

By Peter Egwuatu

INVESTORS’ negative sentiment continued in the equity market on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, despite the N0.30kobo interim dividend declared by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.

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Reacting to market downturn, analysts at Cowry Asset Management Limited said: “In this week, we expect the domestic bourse to close in red territory amid persistent negative investor sentiment; although we expect value investors to continue to take advantage of the low stock prices and hold relatively long positions in order to benefit from the high yielding dividend returns.”

Analysts at Afrinvest Research said: “Following the bearish performance last week, we expect sell pressures to dominate in the near-term given the generally negative mood and absence of catalyst to spur investor interest.”

Meanwhile, market analysis last week showed that the benchmark NSE All Share Index (ASI) shed 1.4 percent Week-on-Week, W-o-W, to settle at 26,925.29 points while Year-to-Date, YtD, loss worsened to -14.3 percent.

As a result, investors lost N185.9billion in value as market capitalisation fell to N13.1trillion.

The bearish performance was largely due to sustained losses in Nestle (-10.0 percent), Stanbic IBTC (-3.8 percent) and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, ETI (-4.8 percent). However, activity level strengthened as average volume and value rose 12.1 percent and 45.1 percent to 258.3million units and N3.5billion n respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were Guaranty Trust Bank (228.1million units), Transcorp (96.1million units) and Zenith Bank (91.9million units) while Guaranty Trust Bank (N5.9billion), MTN (N1.9billion) and Dangote Cement (N1.7 billion) led by value.

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