Dow May Look To Reverse Recent Downward Trend
The major US index futures are pointing to a higher opening on Thursday following the mixed performance seen in the previous session.
Traders may look to pick up stocks at reduced levels following the recent downward trend by the Dow, which ended the previous session at its lowest closing level in two months.
Stocks turned in a mixed performance during trading on Wednesday, as traders reacted to the latest earnings news as well a steep drop by the price of crude oil. The major averages eventually ended the session on opposite sides of the unchanged line.
While the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 13.56 points or 0.2 percent to 5,863.03, the Dow slid 118.79 points or 0.6 percent to a two-month closing low of 20,404.49 and the S&P 500 dipped 4.02 points or 0.2 percent to 2,338.17.
A notable decline by shares of IBM Corp. (IBM) weighed on the Dow, with the tech giant tumbling by 4.9 percent to its lowest closing level in over four months.
The steep drop by IBM came after the company reported first quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates but on weaker than expected revenues.
Meanwhile, some positive sentiment was generated by upbeat earnings news from Morgan Stanley (MS) after disappointing results from Goldman Sachs (GS) weighed on the markets on Tuesday
Shares of Morgan Stanley rose by 2 percent after the financial services giant reported better than expected first quarter results.
Yahoo (YHOO), which is in the process of selling its core internet business to Verizon (VZ), also reported first quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates.
Overall trading activity was somewhat subdued, however, with lingering geopolitical uncertainty keeping some traders on the sidelines.
Late in the trading day, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, a compilation of anecdotal evidence on economic conditions in the twelve Fed districts.
The Fed said economic activity increased in each of the twelve districts between mid-February and the end of March, with the pace of expansion equally split between modest and moderate.
The report also said employment expanded across the nation. The job growth also ranged from modest to moderate during the period.
Modest wage increases broadened, the Fed said while noting prices rose modestly since the previous report on balance.
Gold stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading session, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 3.7 percent. The index pulled back further off the nearly two-month closing high it set last Wednesday. The sell-off by gold stocks came amid a decrease by the price of the precious metal.
A steep drop by the price of crude oil also weighed on energy stocks, as oil prices came under pressure after the release of a report showing an unexpected weekly increase in gasoline inventories.
Reflecting the weakness in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index plunged by 2.7 percent, while the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index and the NYSE Arca Oil & Gas Index slumped by 1.7 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
On the other hand, airline stocks saw notable strength on the day, resulting in a 1.1 percent advance by the NYSE Arca Airline Index. With the gain, the index reached a two-month closing high.
Hawaiian airlines parent Hawaiian Holdings (HA) and SkyWest (SKYW) turned in two of the sector’s best performances. United Continental (UAL) also rebounded after falling sharply on Tuesday.
Nigerian Exchange Attracts N11.841bn in Pre-Guber Poll Trades
By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited recorded the sale of 853.745 million shares worth N11.841 billion in 18,543 deals last week compared with the 1.023 billion shares worth N20.221 billion transacted in 18,650 deals a week earlier.
It was observed that Nigerian stock investors trimmed down their investments in local equities ahead of the governorship and state parliamentary elections over the weekend.
Analysis of the trades showed that financial shares led the activity chart in the week, with a turnover of 547.566 million units valued at N7.100 billion in 9,419 deals, contributing 64.14 per cent and 59.97 per cent to the total trading volume and value, respectively.
Equities in the conglomerates industry recorded the sale of 85.145 million shares worth N134.734 million in 717 deals, while stocks in the consumer goods sectors posted a turnover of 52.981 million shares worth N1.584 billion in 2,865 deals.
Business Post reports that Transcorp, Zenith Bank and Sterling Bank were the most active stocks as they sold 226.004 million units worth N2.041 billion in 2,613 deals, accounting for 26.47 per cent and 17.24 per cent of the total trading volume and value, respectively.
In the week, the All-Share Index (ASI) and the market capitalisation depreciated by 1.58 per cent to close at 54,915.39 points and N29.916 trillion apiece.
Similarly, all other indices finished lower except the consumer goods and the Growth indices, which appreciated by 1.11 per cent and 2.90 per cent each, while the ASeM, energy, and the sovereign bond index closed flat.
A total of 19 stocks appreciated in price during the week compared with the 22 stocks in the previous week, while 47 equities depreciated in price, higher than 41 equities in the previous week, with 91 shares closing flat, in contrast to the 94 shares in the previous week.
United Capital was the worst-performing stock last week after it shed 16.72 per cent to finish at N12.20, Linkage Assurance lost 10.87 per cent to close at 41 Kobo, Ecobank depreciated by 10.00 per cent to N10.80, Industrial and Medical Gases fell by 9.32 per cent to N7.30, NPF Microfinance Bank depleted by 8.47 per cent to N1.73.
On the flip side, Prestige Assurance gained 9.76 per cent to trade at 45 Kobo, Nigerian Enamelware grew by 9.57 per cent to N17.75, University Press expanded by 9.34 per cent to N1.99, CWG chalked up 8.79 per cent to close at 99 Kobo, and FTN Cocoa increased by 7.69 per cent to 28 Kobo.
NASD OTC Exchange Closes 0.36% Higher as Trading Volume Surges
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange closed the Friday session on March 17 in the positive territory as three stocks pushed the market up by 0.36 per cent.
The three price gainers were led by Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc, which added N15.00 to move up to N205.00 per unit from N190.00 per unit.
FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc appreciated during the trading day by N1.11 to close at N75.11 per share compared with the previous day’s value of N74.00 per share, while Afriland Properties Plc went up by 2 Kobo to settle at N2.09 per unit versus Thursday’s value of N2.07 per unit.
The trio pushed down the N4.00 lost by 11 Plc yesterday, as the stock price of the energy firm ended at N150.00 per share, in contrast to the preceding day’s N154.00 per share.
At the close of business, the market capitalisation of the NASD OTC exchange rose by N3.48 billion to close the day at N961.12 billion compared with the preceding day’s N957.64 billion.
In the same vein, the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) appreciated by 2.65 points to wrap the session at 731.44 points compared with 728.79 points of the previous session.
Yesterday, there was a jump in the volume of securities traded by 2,115.1 per cent to 739,755 units from 33,396 million units, the value of transactions increased by 15,683.7 per cent to N30.6 million from N193,846, and the number of deals jumped by 150 per cent to 10 deals from the four deals carried out a day earlier.
Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) by trading 425.2 million units valued at N448.5 million, UBN Property Plc was in second place for selling 365.8 units worth N309.5 million, and NRMC Plc was in third place for exchanging 25.0 million units valued at N137.5 million.
On a year-to-date basis by value, VFD Group Plc was on top of the chart after trading 7.3 million units worth N1.7 billion, trailed by Geo-Fluids Plc with 425.2 million units worth N448.5 million, and UBN Property Plc with 365.8 million units valued at N309.5 million.
Naira Appreciates at Black Market, Peer-to-Peer, I&E
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira appreciated against the United States currency in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P), the black market and the Investors and Exporters (I&E) windows of the foreign exchange (FX) window on Friday, March 17.
The Naira gained N2 against the US Dollar during the session as it closed at N754/$1, in contrast to the previous session’s value of N756/$1.
In the parallel market, the domestic currency improved its value by N1 against the American Dollar on Friday to quote at N747/$1 compared with Thursday’s exchange rate of N748/$1.
It was a similar outcome for the Nigerian currency at the I&E segment of the market as it closed stronger against the greenback by 17 Kobo or 0.04 per cent to sell at N461.83/$1 versus the N462.00/$1 it was quoted at the previous session.
This happened as there was a 10.2 per cent or $9.97 million in the value of forex transactions recorded during the session to $87.81 million from the $97.78 million reported a day earlier.
In the interbank segment of the market, the Naira witnessed no movement against the Pound Sterling and the Euro, closing at N556.45/£1 and N487.99/€1, respectively.
In the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin (BTC) moved to a fresh nine-month high on Friday at above the $27,000 level. The surge followed the US Federal Reserve’s decision to backstop embattled banks to a record of $152.9 billion.
BTC recorded a 6.0 per cent rise to trade at $27,546.42, Ethereum (ETH) improved by 5.8 per cent to sell at $1,813.37, Solana (SOL) chalked up 11.9 per cent to quote at $22.48, Litecoin (LTC) went up by 6.4 per cent to trade at $86.62, and Cardano (ADA) rose by 6.2 per cent to trade at $0.3523.
Further, Dogecoin (DOGE) made a 4.8 per cent appreciation to quote at $0.0776, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 3.9 per cent gain to settle at $0.3843, and Binance Coin (BNB) added 3.8 per cent to sell for $344.22, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) traded at $1.00 each.
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