By Nkiruka Nnorom
ACTIVITIES in the equities market will be buoyed by improvement in the external sector and influx of financial scorecards this week, investment analysts have said.
They observed that the expected improvement in the external sector would boost investors’ confidence in the market amidst a mix of profit taking and bargain hunting activities.
The analysts maintained that the second half, H2’17, seems more promising for the equities market given expectations of improved portfolio inflows and sustained participation of domestic investors.
According to analysts at Meristem, “The equities market mirrored the previous week’s performance with bullish sentiments persisting as earnings releases began to trickle in. We expect an influx of financial scorecards in the coming week and envisage a sustenance of the current market mood based on our expectation of stronger financial performances relative to the prior year.”
Vetiva Capital noted in their report that there would be sustained improvement in market activities as quarter two, Q2 earnings season opens up the more. The report said: “Given market expectation of a relatively strong earnings outlook, we foresee more gains for ASI in the week ahead”.
Meanwhile Financial Vanguard analysis of transaction last week showed a consolidation of the previous week’s gains as the market recorded another five straight days of bullish trading. Consequently, investors gained N261 billion as the market capitalisation of all the listed equities rose from N11.464 trillion to N11.725 trillion, representing 2.28 per cent increase. The second equities indicator, the All Share Index, ASI, also chalked up by 2.28 per cent from 33,261.66 basis points to 34,020.37 points, settling its year-to-date returns at 26.59 per cent.
The positive sentiment was witnessed across the entire sectors except for the insurance sector that fell by 2.81 per cent on the back of 8.97 per cent decline in Axamansard Insurance Plc.
Further breakdown showed that the industrial goods sector recorded the highest return of 6.97 per cent driven by 15.38 per cent gains in Lafarge Africa Plc. The banking, consumer goods, and the oil and gas sectors moved up by 2.38 per cent, 2.97 per cent and 0.39 per cent to close at 422.67 points, 791.57 points and 326.11 points respectively.
There were 39 gainers and 34 decliners in the week with Skye Bank Plc leading the gainers with 19.67 per cent to close at N0.73. Unilever trailed behind with 16.12 per cent return to close at N38.32, Lafarge Africa, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc and Okomu Oil Palm Plc followed by 15.38 per cent, 13.58 per cent and 8.37 per cent to close at N60.00, N0.92 and N64.50 respectively.
On the other hand, Axamansard Insurance led the laggards, dropping by 8.97 per cent to close at N2.03, followed by AG Leventis, which fell by 7.69 per cent to close at N0.72 and NAHCo Plc that depreciated by 6.02 per cent to close at N2.81 per share.
A total turnover of 3.628 billion shares worth N34.886 billion were exchanged by investors in 19,834 deals compared to 1.272 billion shares valued at N13.993 billion that exchanged hands during the previous week in 19,385 deals.
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