By Peter Egwuatu
The stock market swung back into positive territory following the retention of the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR at 11.5 per cent by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and some positive corporate earnings as investors gained over N368 billion in the three trading days of the week.
Specifically, market capitalisation which represents investors’ worth on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE close Wednesday at N20.449 trillion from N20.081 trillion on Friday.
Similarly, another major stock market gauge, NSE All Share Index, ASI went up by 1.8 per cent to close at 39,085.78 points from 38,382.39 points on Friday.
Market analysts have attributed the upswing to the retention of the MPR and announcement of some positive corporate earnings recently released.
The MPR is the baseline interest rate in an economy, every other interest rate used within an economy is built on the MPR.
It will be recalled that Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, on Tuesday announced said the apex bank is not looking to make life difficult for Nigerians and businesses operating in Nigeria by increasing the key interest rate.
He explained that increasing the MPR will increase the cost of borrowing and reduce access to credit for businesses which he said might reverse the growth trend of the economy.
Meanwhile, the stock market yesterday gained 98 bases points as ASI closed 39,085.78 points from 38.704.97 points on Tuesday while market capitalisation rose to N20.449 trillion rom N20.250 trillion on Tuesday.
Buy-interest in Dangote Cement led to 227 bps rise, MTN Nigeria garnered 242 bps and Nigerian Breweries, NB gained 104 bps.
The major losses recorded in the market were WAPCO which declined by 711 bps, MRS 970 bps and ETI 208bps.
Reacting on the market development analysts at Vetiva Securities Limited, said “With more corporate announcements likely to flood the market, we expect tomorrow’s session (Thursday) to follow a similar pattern to Wednesday, as investors react to the various financial performances and dividend announcements, we anticipate further mixed activity along those lines.”
Analysts at InvestData said: “The outcome of the MPC meeting has played a very important role in determining the market trend, following which traders and investors should stay with fundamentally sound stocks. This is without prejudice to the fact that investors will respond sharply to unimpressive results from companies yet to present their scorecards, especially when dividend declared comes below expectation.”