Bulls’ market may tread cautiously this week

…Oil & Gas sector trends lower, records -4.20 w/w returns

By Nkiruka Nnorom

THE bullish stance that investors have taken on equities in the past two months remained intact last week as the market closed with N188 billion gains.

This is even as the oil and gas sector took a downward turn at the close of trading session on Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, Friday after showing signs of recovery in the wake of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, by the National Assembly, NASS, last month.

The sector recorded -4.2 per cent weekly return following depreciation in Forte Oil Plc and Mobil Nigeria Plc.

Meanwhile research analysts have said that there would be more cautious buying this week driven by profit taking in some select stocks given the mixed trading pattern at week’s close. Specifically, investors wealth, represented by the market capitalisation rose to N11.692 trillion from N11.504 trillion, representing 1.63 per cent increase, while the All share Index, ASI, appreciated by 1.60 per cent from 33,276.68 points to close at 33,810.56 point.

Further analysis of activity in the sectoral level showed that sentiment was mixed as three of the sectors recorded price appreciation as against two that depreciated in price. The banking sector propelled by activity in Skye Bank Plc and Unity Bank recorded the highest price gain, rising by 4.99 per cent.

This was followed by activity in the insurance sector, which rose by 3.57 per cent, and the consumer goods sector that appreciated marginally by 0.51 per cent. However, the oil and gas and the industrial goods sector recorded -4.20 per cent and -0.28 per cent respectively.

Gainers and losers

Thirty-eight stocks appreciated in price during the week compared to 42 equities that depreciated in price. May & Baker Plc led the gainers with 60.56 per cent increase to close at N4.56, followed by Skye Bank which rose by 41.51 per cent to close at N0.75. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, CCNN, went up by 33.69 per cent to close at N8.85, while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria and Ashaka Cement Plc chalked up by 22.37 per cent and 21.29 per cent to close at N1.86 and N14.07 respectively.

International Breweries Plc, on the other hand led the laggards, dropping by 19.17 per cent to close at N26.05, followed by Forte Oil Plc that fell by 13.57 per cent to close at N55.58 per share. Others include Learn Africa, 12.63 per cent; Champion Breweries Plc, 8.55 per cent and Custodian and Allied Insurance that dropped by 8.54 per cent to close at N3.36 per share.

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