Stocks start second half on negative note

The nation’s stock market kicked off the second half of the year on a negative note, reversing the slight gains recorded last month.

The market finished slightly higher last month as the market capitalisation of listed equities appreciated by N64bn to close at N13.866tn.

The All-Share Index of the Nigerian Stock Exchange fell by 0.87 per cent on Monday to close at 37,946.92 basis points from 38,278.55bps at which it closed in June.

The stock market has been wobbling in recent months, with the market capitalisation losing N1.146tn in May as it fell to N13.802tn on May 31 from N14.948tn on April 30.

Twenty stocks, led by Forte Oil Plc, recorded losses on Monday, while 16 stocks appreciated at the end of trading, with AIICO Insurance Plc leading the pack.

The Head, Equities, FBNQuest Capital, Bunmi Asaolu, said, “Our view is that the macro outlook is still supportive, with oil prices remaining firm, this should offset potential uncertainty stemming from political risk going into the second half of 2018.

“Although we do not expect consensus earnings estimates to see significant upward revisions through the rest of the year, valuations are yet to fully capture earnings outlook expectations, especially among the tier 1 banks. As such, we expect the index to recover lost ground, with a minimum of 10 per cent gain by the end of the year.”

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