The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), at the end of the first quarter of 2018 adds N1.29 trillion to its market capitalisation to close the month of March at N14.90 trillion.
The beginning of the year was characterised by bullish outlook as equities gained momentum on optimistic investors’ sentiment as the NSE All Share Index began the year with +16.34 per cent only to marginally drop by 2.54 per cent in the month of February on slight profit taking but yet another downside of 4.21 per cent in the month of march trimming the market capitalisation to a close of N14.90 trillion.
The month of March was however, below expectation as reactions from investors dwindled against promising full year earnings release which was slightly above average.
The last week of the month a total turnover of 1.541 billion shares worth N16.647 billion in 18,805 deals were traded in contrast to a total of 2.328 billion shares valued at N28.927 billion that exchanged hands in 25,530 deals during the penultimate week.
The Financial Services Industry led the activity chart with 1.024 billion shares valued at N10.946 billion traded in 11,019 deals; thus contributing 66.44 per cent and 65.75 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Consumer Goods Industry followed with 213.704 million shares worth N3.053 billion in 2,693 deals. The third place was occupied by Oil and Gas Industry with a turnover of 158.643 million shares worth N908.260 million in 1,897deals.
Zenith International Bank Plc, Champion Breweries Plc and Skye Bank Plc accounted for 485.832 million shares worth N5.851 billion in 2,221 deals, contributing 31.53 per cent and 35.15 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
Investors, during the month of January seemed to be more cautious while taking advantage of NSE new price methodology as it drove more liquidity in the market.
According to analyst at APT Securities, investors rather took “a bird at hand is better than many in the bush” approach to sell off long held illiquid stocks which in turn resulted in short term gain, which saw Japaul Oil treaded up 18 per cent, Cutix at 39.30 per cent and ABC Transport at 57 per cent.
However, bargain hunting on dividend-paying stocks after mark down is envisaged, while expectation of long term positioning from value investors on company’s fundamentals rather than sentiments in the month of April to kick start the second quarter.
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