EQUITIES valuation declined by N168 billion last week following profit taking in some blue chip stocks, even as securities dealers reiterated call for caution given the on-going Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic. Analysis of the week’s trading showed that profit taking across Dangote Cement Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc and tier-1 bank stocks resulted in 1.4 percent decline in the benchmark All Share Index, ASI, after the previous week’s huge gains in those stocks. Specifically, the ASI fell to 22,921.59 points from 22,599.38 points.
Also, the equities market capitalisation nose-dived to N11.778 trillion from N11.946 trillion, representing 1.41 percent decline. Accordingly, the month-to-date, MtD, return stood at +7.1 percent, while the year-to-date, YtD, loss increased to -15.8 percent. The drop in the equities market last week aligned with global performance where equities retreated as falling crude oil prices and the failure of a promising COVID-19 experimental drug clinical trial, weakened investors’ sentiments. Analysis of the sectorial activities showed that performance was negative with the banking sector recording the biggest decline at -5.2 percent, while the consumer goods and oil & gas depreciated by 2.6 percent and 1.7 percent. On the other hand, the insurance and industrial goods sectors were up 1.2 percent and 0.7 percent respectively. In their review of the market, analysts at Cordros Capital said: “As risks remain on the horizon following the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria and as economic fortunes remain wary, we continue to advise investors to trade cautiously and seek only fundamentally justified stocks.”