• Monday, May 27, 2024
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BusinessDay

Stock market opens week on negative note 

Companies sacrifice investors’ dividends for regulatory penalty

Nigeria’s stock market failed to sustain its new record gains and opened this week on a negative note as investors keep eye on companies first-quarter (Q1) scorecards recently released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The 0.01 per cent decline in the Nigeria Stock Exchange All Share Index (ASI) on Monday, April 20 was caused by equities like Guinness (-9.38percent), GTBank (-4.33percent), and Zenith Bank (-5.67percent), while gains in Nestle (+0.83percent), MTNN (+3.63percent) and BUA Cement (+8.48percent) could not help reroute the market into positive territory.

Market watchers had expected investors to continue to cherry-pick fundamentally sound stocks trading at lower bands.

Read Also: Market gains N98bn as investors buy bellwether, dividend-paying stocks

The NSE ASI decreased to 22,920.41 points from the preceding day high of 22,921.59 points. The market capitalisation of listed stocks decreased to N11.945trillion. In 4,930 deals, investors exchanged 345,436,922 units valued at N4.208billion.

With the continued spread of the Coronavirus Pandemic as well as low crude oil prices, investors are expected not to totally overrule the possibility of sell pressure, given that the macroeconomic space remains fragile.

“We expect sentiments to improve but with less intensity as stock prices find a new level. Also, the influx of first-quarter (Q1) 2020 earnings by listed companies is on the watchlist of investors and will shape interest”, according to United Capital research analysts.