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Despite the Santa Claus rally on Monday, trading activities at the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) ended the trading week on the negative even as investors booked their profit in bellwether stocks.
Specifically, the equities market resumed from a two-day holiday on a bearish note after posting a 3.8 per cent in the broad index while market capitalization slumped by N239 billion in two days.
The All-Share Index (ASI) sank further by 2.07 per cent to settle at 31,037.72 points while the total value of listed equities closed the trading week at N11.337 trillion as at December 28, 2018. As a result, the Year-to-Date loss worsened to -17.3 per cent.
Consequently, performance across market counters was largely positive as three out of five indices closed higher as at December 27, 2018.
The Oil & Gas index gained the most, up 1.27 per cent due to gains in Forte (+9.9 per cent), it was followed by the Banking and Consumer Goods indices which trailed, up 0.23 per cent and 0.04 per cent respectively following price appreciation in Diamond (+9.7 per cent) and Nascon (+1.4 per cent).
On the flipside, sell pressures in the shares of DANGCEM (-3.4 per cent) and NEM (-9.2 per cent) dragged the Industrial (-2.11 per cent) and Insurance (-0.69 per cent) indices.
Market breadth was, however, positive as 30 stocks advanced while 16 others declined. Conoil topped the gainers’ chart with 10 per cent to close at N23.10, Mutual Benefits was next with 10 per cent to close at 0.22 kobo, NPF Microfinance bank garnered 10 per cent to close at N1.65, Forte oil rose by 9.92 per cent to close at N34.35 while the shares of Transcorp increased by 9.84 per cent to close at N1.34 per share.
On the other hand, UACN led the laggards with 10 per cent to close at N10.80 per share. NEM followed with a 9.15 per cent loss to close at N2.68, Niger Insurance fell by 8.33 per cent to close at 0.22 kobo, Wema Bank dropped 8.20 per cent to close at 0.56 kobo while UPL decreased by 5.66 per cent to close at N2.
However, the volume and value of stocks traded increased by 1.96 billion units and N6.54 billon, which changed hands in 4,080 deals as against 452.26 million units and N2.60 billion respectively, in 3,520 deals recorded in the previous trading session.
NEM was the toast of investors, selling 909.54 million shares worth N3.0 billion, Wema Bank was next with the sale of 657.2 million shares valued at N335.83 million while NAHCO traded 98.53 million shares worth N413.23 million.
Market analysts are of the opinion that the last few trading sessions at the NSE might be slightly positive. They, however, said that the current dynamics provide opportunity for investors to take position in undervalued securities.
Group Chief Executive, Emerging Market Limited, Toyin Sanni, blamed the bearish run trend on the political uncertainties ahead of next year’s general elections while urging investors to conduct adequate due diligence in stock selection and avoid pressure to exit.
Key sectors that should be under investors’ watch in the months ahead, she believes, should include agriculture, Oil and Gas, Technology, Banking and Healthcare.
In a note to Sunday Sun, analysts at Afrinvest said: “We expect market performance over the last few days of the year to be slightly positive as portfolio managers re-balance portfolios.”