Stocks close negative as markets remain volatile
Stocks in Nigeria, Europe and the U.S. fell on Monday March 23 as spread of coronavirus rattles markets. In U.S, stocks tumbled despite Federal Reserve (Fed) latest stimulus move for additional support for the financial system. Nigeria equities remained volatile, declining by 2.24 percent given the circumstances surrounding the macro-economy and oil prices amid the spread of coronavirus.
The US central bank plans to expand purchases of government bonds and mortgage-backed securities and provide new financing for households and firms. Financial markets in Europe and the US have continued to fall despite fresh action by the Federal Reserve to support the American economy.
The Dow Jones and S&P 500 fell almost 3percent in opening trade in New York, while the Nasdaq was down more than 1.5percent. In London, the FTSE 100 was trading more than 3percent lower, while main indexes in Frankfurt and Paris were down about 1.5percent. Earlier, Asian stock markets had fallen sharply.
Nigeria equities traders priced-in the economic impact of rising coronavirus confirmed cases in Nigeria which rose to 35 as at Monday. Nigeria’s equities year-to-date (YtD) returns currently stands at -19.15percent. Month-to-date (Mtd), the market has declined by 17.22percent.
The value of listed equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) decreased by N260billion to N11.308trillion from day open level of N11.568 trillion; while the NSE All Share Index (ASI) printed lower from 22,198.43 points to 21,700.98 points.
Nigerian Breweries recorded the highest decline from N30 to N27, losing N3 or 10percent while CAP Plc advanced most from N19.5 to N21, adding N1.5 or 7.69percent. Zenith, GTBank, FBN Holdings, Access Bank and UBA were actively traded stocks. In 5,883 deals, equity dealers exchanged 464,363,989 units valued at N3.865billion.
“We expect market sentiment to remain volatile, given the circumstances surrounding the macroeconomy and oil prices.
“We also expect investors to react to more dividend pronouncements and position in stocks with good fundamentals, given the current depressed prices”, said Lagos-based analysts at United Capital in their March 23 note.
“We expect the market to continue to react to events in the crude oil market as well as news surrounding the Coronavirus,” according to Vetiva Research analysts.