Equities Market Halts Losing Streak as Banking, Consumer Stocks Lead Rebound


Enterprise Television- Equities Market Halts Losing Streak as Banking, Consumer Stocks Lead Rebound

The equities market rebounded yesterday, halting a seven-day losing streak to close higher. The market witnessed a free fall for seven days as investors locked in profits from an early year rally that saw prices hit new highs.

However, barging hunting in banking and consumer goods sectors lifted the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) by 1.1% to close at 42,171.80 yesterday. Similarly, market capitalisation added N166.4 billion to close at N15.1 trillion.

Stockbrokers had on Tuesday said: “Market performance to remain soft in coming sessions with the possibility of a rebound at the end of the week, driven by bargain hunting.”

However, the rebound can largely be attributed to buying interest in Banking and Consumer counters with Zenith Bank (+5.0%), United Bank for Africa (+6.3%) and Nestle (+1.9%) weighing the most on performance. But Skye Bank Plc led the gainers chart with 10% trailed by FCMB Group Plc that garnered 9.8%. Conversely, First Aluminum led the price losers with 9.1%, trailed by LASACO Assurance Plc with a decline of 5.8%.

Volume and value of trading also rose by 10.7% and 28.1% to 520.7 million shares and N4.7 billion respectively.

Commenting on the performance, analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said: “We expect appetite to remain strong, as investors continue to hunt bargains and take position ahead of Q4-17 earnings, amidst generally improving macroeconomic conditions.”

Also commenting, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said: “The bullish charge in the market was led by gains recorded on counters in the banking and consumer goods sectors, which offset the loss on the market’s heavyweight, Dangote Cement Plc.

We expect a continuation of the bargain hunting activities in the market and an improvement in the market mood to sustain the recovery in the near term.”

The NSE Banking Index led with a growth of 2.7%, followed by the NSE Insurance Index and NSE Consumer Index that appreciated by 1.3% and 1.0% in that order.

Analysts at FSDH Merchant Bank had said the banking sector would remain top performer in 2018 to improve on its performance in 2017.

They said, “FSDH Research expects the continued improvement in the macroeconomic environment to boost the performance of the banking sector in 2018. We see investment opportunities for the tier two banks in the sector”.