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Stock Market Hits 9-month High

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Nigerian stock market - Investors King
  • 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).

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Fed’s Decision to Hold Rates Stalls Oil Market, Brent Crude Slips to $82.17

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Crude Oil - Investors King

Oil prices faced a setback on Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to maintain interest rates dampened investor sentiment.

The Federal Reserve’s announcement on Wednesday indicated a reluctance to initiate an interest rate cut, pushing expectations for policy easing possibly as late as December. This unexpected stance rattled markets already grappling with inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty.

Brent crude, the international benchmark for Nigerian crude oil, saw a drop of 43 cents, or 0.5% to $82.17 a barrel, reflecting cautious investor response to the Fed’s cautious approach.

Similarly, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil also slipped by 46 cents, or 0.6% to settle at $78.04 per barrel.

Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM Oil, commented on the Fed’s decision, stating, “In the Fed’s view, this is the price that needs to be paid to achieve a soft landing and avoid recession beyond doubt.”

The central bank’s move to hold rates steady is seen as a measure to balance economic growth and inflation containment.

The Energy Information Administration’s latest data release further exacerbated market concerns, revealing a significant increase in U.S. crude stockpiles, primarily driven by higher imports.

Fuel inventories also exceeded expectations, compounding worries about oversupply in the oil market.

Adding to the downward pressure on oil prices, the International Energy Agency (IEA) issued a bearish report highlighting concerns over potential excess supply in the near future.

The combination of these factors weighed heavily on investor sentiment, contributing to the decline in oil prices observed throughout the trading session.

Meanwhile, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East continued to influence market dynamics, with reports of Iran-allied Houthi militants claiming responsibility for recent attacks on international shipping near Yemen’s Red Sea port of Hodeidah.

These incidents underscored ongoing concerns about potential disruptions to oil supply routes in the region.

As markets digest the Fed’s cautious stance and monitor developments in global economic indicators and geopolitical tensions, oil prices are expected to remain volatile in the near term.

Analysts suggest that future price movements will hinge significantly on economic data releases, policy decisions by major central banks, and developments in geopolitical hotspots affecting oil supply routes.

 

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Crude Oil

Nigerian Oil Loses Ground to Cheaper US and Russian Crude

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Crude oil

Nigeria’s once-thriving oil industry is facing a significant challenge as traditional buyers increasingly turn to more affordable alternatives from the United States and Russia.

This shift has led to France emerging as the leading buyer of Nigerian crude, marking a significant change in the global oil market dynamics.

Top Nigerian crude grades like Bonny Light, Forcados, and Brass have long been favored by refineries in Europe and Asia due to their low sulfur content.

However, the country’s primary customers, including India and China, are now opting for cheaper US and Russian oil.

This trend poses a substantial risk to Nigeria, which relies on oil exports for more than half of its foreign exchange earnings.

Data from BusinessDay reveals a stark decline in India’s purchase of Nigerian crude. In the first quarter of 2024, India bought N1.3 trillion worth of Nigerian oil, a significant drop from the average of N2 trillion purchased between 2018 and 2021.

“Buyers are increasingly turning to cheaper alternatives, raising concerns for the country’s revenue stream,” said Aisha Mohammed, a senior energy analyst at the Lagos-based Centre for Development Studies.

The latest tanker-tracking data monitored by Bloomberg indicates that India is buying more American crude oil as Russian energy flows dwindle amid sanctions.

India’s state-owned oil refiners and leading private companies have increased their imports of US crude, reaching nearly seven million barrels of April-loading US oil. This shift is the largest monthly inflow since last May.

Russian crude flows to India surged following the invasion of Ukraine, making Russia the biggest supplier to the South Asian nation.

However, tighter US sanctions have stranded Russian cargoes, narrowing discounts, and prompting India to ramp up purchases from Saudi Arabia.

“Given the issues faced with importing Sokol in Russia, it’s no surprise that Indian refineries are turning toward US WTI Midland as their light-sweet alternative,” explained Dylan Sim, an analyst at industry consultant FGE.

As a result, France has overtaken the Netherlands to become the biggest buyer of Nigerian crude oil, purchasing products worth N2.5 trillion in the first quarter of 2024.

Spain and India occupied second and fourth positions, with imports valued at N1.72 trillion and N1.3 trillion respectively, as of March 2024.

The sluggish pace of sales for Nigeria’s May supplies highlights the market’s shifting dynamics. Findings show that about 10 cargoes of Nigerian crude for May loading were still available for purchase, indicating a reduced demand.

Rival suppliers such as Azeri Light and West Texas Intermediate have also seen price weaknesses, impacting Nigerian crude demand.

“We’ve got much weaker margins, so Nigeria’s crude demand is taking a hit,” noted James Davis, director of short-term oil market research at FGE.

Sellers seeking premiums over the Dated Brent benchmark have found the European market less receptive, according to Energy Aspects Ltd.

“May cargoes were at a premium that didn’t work that well into Europe, but lower offers have seen volumes move,” said Christopher Haines, EA global crude analyst. “Stronger forward diesel pricing is also helping.”

Some Nigerian grades are being priced more competitively, including Qua Iboe to Asia and Bonny Light to the Mediterranean or East, with the overhang slowly reducing, according to Sparta Commodities.

However, the overall reduced demand could lead to a decrease in revenue from oil exports, a major source of income for the Nigerian government.

“Reduced demand could lead to a decrease in revenue from oil exports, a major source of income for the Nigerian government,” warned Charles Ogbeide, an energy analyst with a Lagos-based investment bank.

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Commodities

Refiners Predict Petrol Prices to Fall to N300/Litre with Adequate Local Crude Supply

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Petrol - Investors King

The pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, could drop to N300 per litre once local production ramps up significantly, according to operators of modular refineries.

This projection hinges on the provision of sufficient crude oil to domestic refiners, which they say would undercut the exorbitant costs currently imposed by foreign refineries.

Speaking under the aegis of the Crude Oil Refinery Owners Association of Nigeria (CORAN), the refiners stressed the urgency for the government to ensure a steady supply of crude oil to local processing plants.

They argue that the reliance on imported petroleum products has been economically disadvantageous for Nigeria.

Eche Idoko, Publicity Secretary of CORAN, emphasized that the current high costs could be mitigated by boosting local production.

“If we begin to produce PMS in large volumes and ensure adequate crude oil supply, the pump price could be reduced to N300 per litre. This would prevent Nigerians from paying nearly N700 per litre and stop foreign refiners from profiting excessively at our expense,” Idoko stated.

The potential price drop follows the model seen with diesel, which experienced a significant price reduction once the Dangote Petroleum Refinery began its production.

“Diesel prices dropped from N1,700-N1,800 per litre to N1,200 per litre after Dangote started producing. This is a clear indication that local production can drastically reduce costs,” Idoko explained.

In a previous statement, Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, affirmed that Nigeria would cease importing petrol by June 2024 due to the Dangote Refinery’s capacity to meet local demand.

Dangote also expressed confidence in the refinery’s ability to cater to West Africa’s diesel and aviation fuel needs.

Challenges and Governmental Role

However, achieving this price reduction is contingent on several factors, including the provision of crude oil at the naira equivalent of its dollar rate.

CORAN has advocated for this approach, citing that it would bolster the naira and reduce the financial burden on refiners who currently buy crude in dollars.

The Nigerian government has shown some commitment towards this goal. Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), confirmed that a framework has been developed to ensure consistent supply of crude oil to domestic refineries.

“We have created a template for the Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation to foster seamless supply to local refineries,” Komolafe stated.

Industry Reactions

Oil marketers have welcomed the potential for reduced petrol prices. Abubakar Maigandi, President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), expressed optimism about the Dangote Refinery’s impact on petrol prices.

“We expect the price of locally produced PMS to be below the current NNPC rate of N565.50 per litre. Ideally, we are looking at a price around N500 per litre,” Maigandi noted.

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