COVID-19: Sell pressures persist as investors lose N99bn in 2 days

By Peter Egwuatu

Sell pressures continued in the stock market as fear of Coronavirus (COVID-19) remains unabated with investors losing over N99 billion in the first two trading days of the week.

The market capitalisation, which represents the value of shares in all the companies quoted in the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, declined to N11.747 trillion on Tuesday from N11.846 trillion on Friday.

The decline which resumed on Monday with a N14 billion loss after a one-day break last Friday, escalated to N85 billion yesterday.

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Meanwhile, the sell pressures on Tuesday in  Dangote Cement  (-10.0 percent),  International Breweries  (-9.6 percent) and  NASCON  Salt  (-10.0 percent) drove the  Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE All-Share Index down by 0.7 percent or 71 bases points, bps to 22,543.07 points. Consequently,  Year to Date, YtD return worsened to -16.0 percent.

Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth improved as 27  stocks advanced relative to 11  decliners.
Reacting, analysts at Afrinvest Research stated: “We expect the bearish sentiment to persist for the rest of the week. However, we note that there are opportunities for bargain hunting.”

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