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Preparations for Yuletide sustain hold on indices

By Helen Oji
23 December 2019   |   3:07 am
A general lull in the equities market, following preparations for the Yuletide resulted in a highly volatile session at the end of transactions last week.

A general lull in the equities market, following preparations for the Yuletide, resulted in a highly volatile session at the end of transactions last week.

Although positive sentiments trailed large-cap consumer goods and banking stocks, massive selloffs on the telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria, eroded the gains, causing the market capitalisation and index to close flat.

Consequently, the NSE All-Share Index (ASI) and market capitalisation declined by 0.04 per cent and 0.03 per cent to close the week at 26,526.35 points and N12.804 trillion respectively.

All other indices finished higher with the exception of, NSE Premium, NSE-AFR Div Yield, NSE Oil and Gas, NSE Lotus ll and NSE Industrial Goods indices, which depreciated by 0.86 per cent, 3.14 per cent , 0.6 per cent, 0.06 per cent and 0.49 per cent respectively, while the NSE ASeM Index closed flat.

Analysts have predicted sustained volatility, with marginal gains, amid profit-taking and repositioning.

According to them, investors were offloading their holdings in order to attend to some basic needs, which resulted in a decline in both market indicators.

“We see the level of activity and volatility being sustained over the final days of the year, with some pockets of gains expected, as fund and portfolio managers realign portfolios prior to the start of 2020.

The Chief Research Officer of Investdata Consulting Limited, Ambrose Omodion, said: “Market technicals for the session stayed negative and mixed, as volume traded was higher than the previous session, in the midst of selling pressure.

“This is an indication that funds left some stocks and the market at large. We expect a sustained mixed performance amidst profit-taking and positioning.

“This is just as investors take advantage of low prices to position, ahead of the usual Santa Claus and year-end rally as capital flow and repositioning in value stocks continue.

“There are also the changing sentiments in expectation of improved liquidity and positive economic indices.

“We expect that Investors would focus on the upcoming full-year earnings season, targeting companies with strong potential to grow their dividend on the strength of their earning capacity.”

Last week, a turnover of 1.381 billion shares worth N15.504 billion was recorded in 14,528 deals. This was in contrast to 1.044 billion shares valued at N14.628 billion, exchanged in 14,974 deals during the preceding week.

The financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.019 billion shares valued at N11.814 billion traded in 8,275 deals; thus contributing 73.82 per cent to the total equity turnover volume.

The healthcare industry followed with 170.905 million shares worth N49.097 million in 281 deals.

The third place was conglomerates industry with a turnover of 83.560 million shares worth N205.786 million in 736 deals.

Trading in the top three equities namely, Access Bank Plc, Union Diagnostics and Clinical Services Plc, and Zenith Bank Plc. (measured by volume) accounted for 687.097 million shares worth N6.510 billion in 2,964 deals, contributing 49.76 percent to the total equity turnover.

A total of 4,990 units of Federal Government Bonds valued at N5.541 million were traded this week in eight deals, compared with a total of 7,300 units valued at N8.073 million transacted last week in four deals.

Also, 33 equities appreciated at price during the week, higher than 18 equities in the previous week and 25 equities depreciated in price, lower than 44 equities in the previous week, while 107 equities remained unchanged, higher than 103 equities recorded in the preceding week.