BusinessDay

Bears reign on NGX as negative return year-to-date prints at 5%

…analysts foresee mild uptick in investor sentiment as MPC holds rates

Nigeria’s equities market continued on its negative path on Tuesday May 25 as the bears fortified their position on the Bourse, pushing the negative returns seen this year to a new high of -5 percent.

The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited All Share Index (ASI) stood lower at 38,256.76 points at the close of trading session, representing a decline of 84.90 points or 0.22percent, from a high of 38,287.58 points the preceding day. The market capitalisation of NGX listed stocks decreased by N16billion to N19.940trillion from N19.956trillion the preceding day.

Lasaco led the loser table after its share price moved from N1.54 to N1.43, losing 11kobo or 7.14percent, while C & I leasing gained most, from N4.06 to N4.46, adding 40kobo or 9.85percent.

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Except consumer goods index (+0.02percent) as well as industrial and oil & gas indices that remained flat, all other sectoral indices closed in red – Banking index (-0.47percent) and insurance (-1.61percent).

At the end of the two-day policy meeting on Tuesday, the committee members voted to hold all policy variables at current levels.

“After the MPC chose to hold rates constant once again, we foresee a mild uptick in investor sentiment in the coming sessions, on the back of renewed interest in the Nigerian market, thanks to the streamlined FX policy of the CBN and encouraging first-quarter (Q1) GDP results”, said Vetiva research analysts.

The implication of the “Hold” decision according to research analysts at Lagos-based United Capital Plc is that among others, the demand for short term bills will persist in the treasury markets, while there will be relatively muted effect on the equity market.

Courteville, Zenith Bank, Jaiz, Chams and Sterling Bank were actively traded stocks on the Bourse.

In 3,534 deals, equity traders exchanged 250,204,058 units valued at N1.552billion.