Stock market defies inflation report as Index crosses 84,000 mark

…Investors gain N874bn
…PZ, Axa Mansard, others rally

Nigeria’s stock market on Monday defied report on inflation as investors interest in equities pushed the benchmark performance index above 84,000 mark.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) inflation report came in with inflation exceeding 18-year high to hit 28.92percent in December, up by 72 basis points (bps) from 28.21percent in November 2023.

At the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), investors buy-sentiment in favour of stocks like PZ Cussons, Axa Mansard and Chams helped push market higher by 1.92 percent. Listed stocks value rose by N874billion at the close of trading.

The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) All-Share Index (ASI) and Market Capitalisation increased from preceding trading day’s 83,042.96 points and N45.442 trillion respectively to 84,640.89 points and N46.316 trillion.

“This week, we expect the local bourse to sustain its positive momentum. Our outlook for the Nigerian market and the anticipation of more corporate actions are likely to drive investors’ interest in the search for value.

“Building on recent weeks’ performance, we anticipate some profit-taking activities due to declining liquidity levels. Also, tickers trading at extremely high levels may prompt investors to take gains on stocks that have appreciated significantly.

“On a balance of factors, we expect the positive sentiment to continue barring a negative development that may sway market in the opposite direction. Thus, we anticipate the NGXASI to close in the green zone this week,” said Lagos-based Meristem research analysts in their recent note.

PZ Cussons increased most from N29.50 to N32.45, adding N2.95 or 10percent, Axa Mansard increased from N5.90 to N6.49, adding 59kobo or 10percent, while Chams rose from N2.30 to N2.53, adding 23kobo or 10percent.

Shares of Transcorp, AIICO, Wema Bank, Jaiz Bank, and FCMB were actively traded as investors in 13,647 deals exchanged 807,507,858 shares worth N11.031billion.

“Looking ahead, we expect positive sentiment to drive the market, as bargain hunting continues. We expect the local bourse to record a positive performance this week.

“Investors are expected to continue to cherry-pick stocks with strong fundamentals, (value or growth) for dividend scouting investors, ahead of FY-2023 earnings season. At different intervals, we expect profit booking and mild sell-offs,” United Capital analysts said in their January 15 note.

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