(Greenwich Merchant Bank): The local bourse veered off its upward trend in the previous week, as bearish sentiment pervaded top counters in all trading sessions of the week. Consequently, the NSE-ASI narrowed sharply WoW to 1.7%, even as market capitalisation eased off NGN368.0bn to settle at NGN21.8tn, thereby dragging the YtD return to a low +3.6%.
However, the activity level improved as the average volume and value of transactions increased by 7.4% and 6.4% to settle at 551.8mn units and NGN5.9bn, respectively. JAIZBANK led the gainers’ chart, appreciating 10.8% in its share price to close at NGN0.72. On the other hand, LINKASSURE topped the laggards’ table with a 33.3% dip to settle at NGN0.60.
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Performance across the NSE sectors was in tandem with the broad index, as the Insurance (-6.1%), Consumer Goods (-3.2%), Banking (-2.3%), Industrial Goods (-2.1%) and Oil & Gas (-0.2%) sectors closed the week in the negative.
The bearish performance witnessed this week can be attributed to the profit booking activities across counters that gained in the previous week’s rally and the gradual uptick in the stop rates at Primary Market Auctions (PMAs). Notwithstanding this bearish sentiment, we anticipate that positive corporate earnings will drive traction towards the equities market as investors continue to position themselves for the forthcoming dividend season.