By Nkiruka Nnorom

Investment experts are projecting a profit taking position in the stock market this week ahead of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting later this month.

Their projections come as the market sustained its rally into the fifth week with investors recording N1.18 trillion gains last week.

The intense bargain hunting activities across cyclical stocks had pushed the benchmark higher by 4.3 per cent as the All Share Index (ASI)  closed at 53,098.46 points, its highest since  July 31, 2008.

Similarly, the market capitalisation of all listed equities jumped by 4.3 per cent (N1.18trn gains in value terms) to N28.262 trillion from N27.450 trillion the previous week.

Particularly, strong buy sentiment in International Breweries Plc (30.4%), Okomu Oil Plc (26.5%), MTN Nigeria Communication Plc (15%), Lafarge Africa (14.2%), Nigerian Breweries Plc (10%) and Seplat (8.3%) drove the All Share Index higher. 

Consequently, the Month-to-Date (MtD)  and Year-to-Date (YtD) returns increased to seven and 2.4 per cent respectively.

Performance across sectors was,  however, mixed as three of the sectors – oil and gas (6.9%), consumer goods (5.4%) and the industrial goods sector (2.3%) recorded gains, while the insurance sector closed negative at (1.9%). Meanwhile,  the banking sector closed flat. 

Commenting, analysts at Cordros Capital,  a Lagos-based investment banking firm, said: “In the near term, we think the bears are likely to book profit across most counters given the five-week bullish run in the market. Thus, we see more of a “choppy theme” as cautious trading takes center stage ahead of the MPC meeting scheduled later in the month.” 


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