Stocks hit nine-month low on mixed earnings, elections

Stocks hit nine-month low on mixed earnings, elections

’Femi Asu with agency report

Equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange dropped to a more-than-nine-month low on Thursday, hurt by mixed second-quarter earnings and worries about political risk in the run-up to next year’s elections.

The NSE All Share Index fell for the fifth straight session, down 0.4 per cent to 36,154 basis points. Stocks have fallen by 5.1 per cent so far this year, after climbing 42 per cent last year.

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The market capitalisation of listed equities fell to N13.228tn from N13.249tn on Wednesday.

Twenty-two companies saw their share prices depreciate at the close of trading on Thursday, with Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc, Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc, Linkage Assurance Plc, Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc and Vitafoam Nigeria Plc emerging the top losers.

Twelve companies, led by Courteville Business Solutions Plc and Sterling Bank Plc, recorded price appreciation

Second-quarter earnings have been mixed, with most lenders posting declines in loan growth, citing a weak economy, while several consumer goods companies have recorded lower profits, according to Reuters.

Political developments ahead of elections next year, in which President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking re-election, have also dented investor sentiment, analysts say.

“Recent declines have been concentrated on a few large-cap stocks. Pressure on Nigerian Breweries may be on the back of slightly disappointing H1’18 earnings, but Dangote Cement numbers were in line with expectations,” said the Chief Economist at Vetiva Capital, Michael Famoroti.

Last week, Senate President Bukola Saraki, the country’s third most senior elected official, defected from Buhari’s ruling party to the main opposition and is fast becoming a leading critic of the President. Copyright PUNCH. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

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