Equities Fall Further on Profit-taking, Weak Q1 Results

Goddy Egene

Trading at the stock market remained bearish last week as a combination of profit-taking in bellwethers and negative reactions to financial results released by companies for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, dominated sentiments of investors.

Consequently, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) fell by 1.78 per cent to close lower at 29,212.00, while market capitalisation shed N197 billion to be at N10.979 trillion. The year-to-date decline of the NSE ASI worsened to 7.1 per cent as last Friday.

Just like the previous week, the market traded for four days and the bears and bulls controlled two days each. But the bears had the upper hand, leading to a decline of 1.78 per cent at the end of the week.

Trading had started on Monday on a negative note with the NSE ASI falling 0.73 per cent following losses by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc and Dangote Cement Plc. The negative trend was sustained on Tuesday with a higher decline of 1.23 per cent due to sell-off in Dangote Cement Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Stanbic IBTC among others.

But the market rebounded on Thursday and Friday, appreciating by 0.04 per cent and 0.14 per cent in that order. However, the gains in the two days were not enough to offset the losses of Monday and Tuesday.

By the close of the week, three of the five major sectors declined led by the NSE Industrial Goods Index that fell 3.0 per cent. The NSE Banking Index trailed with 1.3 per cent, just as the NSE Consumer Goods Index went down by 0.3 per cent.

On the positive side, the NSE Insurance Index rose 1.3 per cent, followed by NSE Oil and Gas Index that appreciated by 0.02 per cent.

Commenting on the market, analysts at Afrinvest (West

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