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Stock Market Hits 9-month High



Nigerian stock market
  • Stock Market Hits 9-month High

It was a record breaking week with the NSE ASI posting the largest singular gain of 3.18per cent , since 15th of June 2016.

Analysts at Cordros Capital Limited, an investment banking firm, said judging by market activity in the past three weeks, and more specifically, the spike in the number of deals and volume traded last week, “we sense improved investors, both local and foreign, appetite for risk assets on domestic bourse, following the: reduced apprehension in the macroeconomic environment; impressive 2016 full year and first quarter (Q1) performance of highly capitalised names, and increased confidence about the stability and liquidity of the foreign exchange (FX).

Apart from the ASI, that appreciated, all other indices finished higher during the week with the exception of the NSE ASeM Index that closed flat.

Daily Market Performance

The stock market opened for trading in the week on a positive note, sustaining its bullish trend, following high demand for fast moving consumer goods, insurance and banking stocks. Having gained 1.85 per cent last week, some level of profit taking was expected as trading resumed for the week yesterday. However, it appears investors are delaying their profit taking as bargain hunting remained high. Consequently, the NSE All-Share Index appreciated by 0.70 per cent to close at 26,418.33, while market capitalisation added N63.2 billion to close at N9.1 trillion.

Monday’s performance reduced the year-to-date decline to 1.70 per cent. The market recorded 26 price gainers, while 12 stocks depreciated. Although bellwether stocks such as Nestle Nigeria Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, GTBank Plc were among the price gainers, Oando Plc led the chart with 10.0 per cent, trailed by Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc with 9.7 per cent. Continental Reinsurance Plc and AIICO Insurance Plc chalked up 9.4 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively among others.

Conversely, Champion Breweries Plc led the price losers with 4.6 per cent, followed by Jaiz Bank Plc with a decline of 4.5 per cent. African Prudential Plc and Dangote Flour Mills Plc shed 3.3 per cent and 2.3 per cent in that order.

In terms of sectoral performance, all indices advanced except the NSE Industrial Goods Index that shed 0.02 per cent following price loss by Cement Company of Northern Nigeria(-1.9 per cent). The NSE Consumer Goods Index recorded the highest gain (+2.0) on account of buy sentiment in Nestle (+3.4 per cent), Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc (+9.7 per cent) and Nigerian Breweries Plc (+2.7 per cent). Similarly, the NSE Insurance Index went up by 1.8 per cent on the back of price appreciations in Continental (+9.4 per cent) and AIICO (+7.6 per cent) while the NSE Oil & Gas and NSE Banking indices appreciated 1.4 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.

Following continuous bull run, the market rallied to a year high on Tuesday after gaining for the eight consecutive days. Sustained demand lifted the NSE ASI by 1.28 per cent to close at year’s high of 26,756.21, while market capitalisation added N116.8 billion to be at N9.25 trillion. The gain was spurred mainly by demand for stocks such as Oando Plc, Access Bank Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Dangote Cement Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.

According to analysts at Meristem Securities Limited, the increased investors’ appetite witnessed may be traced to the streams of positive news inflow as regards companies’ performance and economic recovery.

“Whilst we do not rule of some profit-taking activities at the end of the week, we reiterate that the current positive trend may persist,” they stated.

The bulls visited 34 stocks, while only six stocks played host to the bears. Just like Monday, Oando Plc led the price gainers with 10.1 per cent, trailed by Fidson Healthcare Plc with 9.5 per cent. Transcorp Plc chalked up 7.1 per cent just as May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Portland Paints and Products, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc and Access Bank Plc appreciated by 5.9 per cent, 4.9 per cent, 4.8 per cent and 4.8 per cent in that order among others.

Conversely, Linkage Assurance Plc led the price losers with 3.7 per cent, followed by Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc with 3.5 per cent. Total Nigeria Plc shed 2.3 per cent, just as Lafarge Africa Plc and Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc depreciated by 2.2 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively.

However, the value of stocks traded fell by 13.5 per cent to N2.815 billion, while volume rose by 101.4 per cent to 539.23 million shares. The three most actively traded sectors were Financial Services (488.45 million), Conglomerates (23.43 million) and Consumer Goods (9.78 million), while the three most actively traded stocks were: FCMB (243.86 million), Zenith Bank (52.29 million) and UBA (42.52 million).

Performance across sectors remained positive with three of the sectors appreciating, while only the NSE Industrial Goods Index, which dipped 0.3 per cent on account of profit-taking in Lafarge Africa.

The NSE Banking Index led sector gainers, rising by 2.2 per cent, followed by the NSE Oil & Gas Index with 0.7 per cent growth.

The bulls tightened their hold on the Nigerian Bourse on Wednesday as investors continue to react to improving macroeconomic fundamentals, particularly the recent introduction of an autonomous FX market for investors and exporters. At the close of trade, the NSE ASI rose 2.9 per cent to reach a 6-month high of 27,546.68 while the year to date return swung positive for the first time in the year to close at 2.5 per cent. Although the positive close was driven by broad-based buying interest across large, mid and small cap stocks, market bellwethers such as Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries, and Nestle supported performance. Investors gained N273.3 billion as market capitalisation advanced to N9.5 trillion.

In terms sectoral movement, on the NSE Industrial Goods Index fell by 0.9 per cent. The NSE Banking Index led with a gain of 4.1 per cent on the back of a broad-based rally in banking stocks across Tiers – Zenith (+5.6 per cent), GTBank (+2.4 per cent), UBA (+7.2 per cent), Fidelity Bank (+8.8 per cent) and Union Bank (+3.0 per cent). The NSE Consumer Goods Index trailed with 3.6 per cent, while the NSE Oil & Gas Index added 2.4 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index closed higher by 0.7 per cent.

In line with expectation, the bullish run in the equities market continued on Thursday, rising by 3.2 per cent to close at 28,423.70. As with previous sessions, the positive performance was driven by rally across sectors, but was largely buoyed by gains in bellwethers such as Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries Plc and GTBank.

Market Turnover

Meanwhile, investors traded 3.255 billion shares worth N28.738 billion in 25,370 deals, up from 1.154 billion shares valued at N10.439 billion that exchanged hands in 16,676 deals the previous week.

The financial services industry led the activity chart with 2.716 billion shares valued at N17.230 billion traded in 15,103 deals, thus contributing 83.4 per cent and 59.9 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Consumer Goods Industry followed with 185.750 million shares worth N6.596 billion in 3,817 deals. The third place was occupied by Conglomerates Industry with a turnover of 156.010 million shares worth N385.427 million in 1,340 deals.

Trading in the top three Equities namely, FBN Holdings Plc, FCMB Group Plc and Zenith Bank Plc accounted for 1.419 billion shares worth N8.185 billion in 5,117 deals.

Also traded during the week were a total of 948 units of Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) valued at N16,591.16 executed in 14 deals compared with a total of 20 units valued at N110,000.00 transacted the preceding week in one deal.

A total of 5,201 units of Federal Government Bonds valued at N5.400 million were traded last week in three deals, compared with a total of 1,582 units valued at N1.608 million transacted two weeks ago in 10 deals.

Price Gainers and Losers

The price movement chart showed 57 equities that appreciated , up from 43 equities of the previous week, while 13 equities depreciated compared with 16 equities of the previous week. May & Baker Nigeria Plc led the price gainers with 31.9 per cent. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated trailed with 22.5 per cent, just as Fidson Healthcare Plc and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc appreciated by 20.4 per cent.

Oando Plc and Unity Bank Plc appreciated by 20.2 per cent and 20 per cent in that order, just as Eterna Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Transcorp Plc chalked up 17.8 per cent, 17.6 per cent, 17.1 per cent and 16.3 per cent respectively.

Conversely, Jaiz Bank Plc led the price losers, shedding 9.1 per cent, trailed by Seplat with a decline of 5.8 per cent. Newrest ASL Nigeria Plc and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc went down by 5.6 per cent, 5.3 per cent and 4.8 per cent.

Other top price losers were: B.O.C Gases Plc, Trans-Nationwide Express Plc (4.8 per cent apiece); A-G Leventis Nigeria Plc (4.1 per cent); Lafarge Africa Plc (3.0 per cent); AIICO Insurance Plc (1.8 per cent0 and Learn Africa Plc (1.1 per cent).

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend




Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.


  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return



Crude oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather




Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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