Nigerian stocks down to 16-day low on profit taking

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LAGOS, AUGUST 16, 2017 – Nigerian stocks declined for a third consecutive day and reached a 16-day low as more investors cashed in profits after recent gains, traders said on Wednesday.

The main index ended down 2.68 percent at 36,102 points, the lowest level since Aug. 1, reflecting concerns that the market has grown too rapidly in the last two months.

The market had rallied for eight consecutive weeks and peaked at a 33-month high last week before profit takers took advantage of the gains to sell their holdings.

Traders said a sharp rise in the market in the last few weeks was as a result of increased demand for equities by offshore funds with fresh mandate from their clients.

“It appears that those buyers have completed their mandate and now they are taking profits on the previous gains,” Kayode Olayemi trader with CSL Stockbrokers said.

Shares in Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) fell 4.68 percent to close at 37.10 naira, while Zenith Bank shares fell for a forth consecutive day, down 3.27 percent to close at 22.50 naira.

The sharp declines in the banks’ shares followed the publication of poorly received first half results over the past week.

The equity market has benefited from the recovery in liquidity on the currency market with the introduction in April of a new forex window for investors to trade the naira at market-determined rates.

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