Nigerian Stock Exchange trading floor

Stock Market Remain Upbeat, As Analysts Predict Better Performance In H2

Analysts at the Nigerian Stock Exchange have predicted a better performance for the stock market in second half of the year, having recorded a growth of 23.2 per cent in the first half of the year.

Market breadth was positive, with 33 gainers versus 19 losers. Mobil led the gainers table by 9.49 per cent to close at N259 per share. Forte Oil followed with a gain of seven per cent to close at N53.50, while Guinness, Cadbury and Custodian and Allied Insurance went up by five per cent each, to close at N63, N11.97 and N3.57 per share, respectively.

On the other hand, Champion Breweries led the laggards’ table by seven per cent to close at N2.57 per share. First Aluminum trailed with a loss of five per cent to close at 57 kobo, while NCR went down by 4.93 per cent to close at N7.33 per share.

BOC Gas declined by 4.85 per cent to close at N3.14, while Linkage Assurance shed by 4.76 per cent to close at 60 kobo per share.

Total volume traded appreciated by 6.65 per cent to 288.86 million shares, valued at N3.82 billion, and exchanged in 3,631 deals. Transactions in the shares of UBA topped the activity chart with 114.47 million shares valued at N1.03 billion. Guaranty Trust Bank followed with 23.92 million shares worth N871.51 million, while Niger Insurance traded 18 million shares valued at N9 million.

Zenith Bank traded 17.35 million shares worth N382.82 million and Access Bank transacted 16.54 million shares valued at N161.48 million.

Analysts at United Capital Limited said, the stock market staged a strong rally in second quarter, as a flurry of positive headlines and policy pronouncements threw a curveball at the market, driving the All Share Index (ASI) up 30.4 per cent, quarter-on-quarter.

He pointed out that while a swing in market sentiment may have been driven by many factors, 2.0mbpd oil output, strong external reserves, Forcados export terminal and the prospect of an economic recovery.

“Amongst these, the introduction of the Investor and Export FX window by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had the most remarkable impact on the market,” he said.

He further pointed out that, “At 32,827.98 points as at July 11, 2017; technical analysis suggests that the All Share Index may rally even higher when compared to the medium term resistant point of 38,000 to 40,000 points if news flow in the domestic economy continues at the pace witnessed in second quarter.

“The above notwithstanding, we reckon that a further uptrend in half year, 2017 would be majorly driven by far-reaching fundamental factors such as the consistency and sustainability of policies which are able to deliver solid macro-economic recovery in the near term.

“In addition, a medium to long-term stability in the local economy would be critical amid impressive corporate earnings. Yet, we caution that the risks to further upside remain on the horizon amid unsteady oil prices, political uncertainty and capital flow reversal.”

Looking ahead, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited (MSL), an investment banking firm, projected that the Nigerian stock market would close 2017 positively. They noted that, “Market recovery is partly hinged on stability in the forex market and moderation in exchange rate gap between the interbank and parallel markets.”

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