Nigeria stocks, bonds fall on naira, oil price worries

Nigerian stocks fell to a four-month closing low of 40,537 points on Tuesday, as a weaker naira hurt by falling global oil prices dampened appetite for equities, dealers said.

The index shed 1.1 percent on the day to its lowest closing level since May 28, dragged down by heavyweight banking and cement stocks.

Shares in Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s most capitalised stock, shed 1.73 percent to 221 naira, while Zenith Bank fell 3.64 percent to 23.80 naira.

Bond yields also rose as offshore funds sold naira assets, dealers said.

“It was a red day for the Nigerian bourse. We think the current negative market sentiment will persist into tomorrow’s session,” Vetiva Capital wrote in a note.

Yields on Nigeria’s 2024 bond, latest addition to a JP Morgan emerging market government bond index (GBI-EM), rose two basis points in the course of two days to 12.34 percent, after rising 37 basis points over the past month.

The naira closed at 163.80 against the greenback, below the three-month low of 163.45 naira it touched a week ago, over doubts on central bank’s ability to support the currency against a backdrop of declining global oil prices and higher demand for dollars.

Brent crude fell below $98 a barrel on Monday, dropping for the third session in four, as sluggish demand and ample supplies outweighed expectations of a cut in oil output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Other top decliners include the local unit of British drug maker GSK, down 7.69 percent, while Guaranty Trust Bank and FBN Holdings both lost more than 1.6 percent.

Source : BusinessDay

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