Eyes on NSE as market opens door to 2018

[Photo: Courtesy]
Investors at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) will be crossing their fingers that the market creates more wealth for them as the first trading session for 2018 begins this morning.

The bourse closed on December 29, 2017, with all the key indices – NSE 20, NSE 25 and NSE All-Share Index (NASI) - outperforming the previous year. In the process, it created Sh567.2 billion for investors.

Amid the political tension that defined the better part of last year, the market put on a spirited fight to spike market capitalisation to Sh2.5 trillion against Sh1.9 trillion posted at the close of 2016.

Today will be the first day of trading after the market closed for weekend and New Year festivities.

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Banking stocks

All eyes will be on Safaricom share and the 11 banking stocks, which cumulatively commanded 71.7 per cent of the value of all traded shares in the last 12 months. Safaricom was the main feature during the year. It moved three billion shares valued at Sh68 billion.

They changed hands at between Sh15.90 and Sh28.50.

Other key sectors to watch will be the pace of the 11 banking stocks.

Last year, the sector transacted shares worth Sh55 billion - accounting for 32.1 per cent of the year’s traded value. Usually, the two sectors dictate market direction the market when trading closes in the next 12 months.

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Last year, the bench mark index, the NSE 20 share index, gained 16.5 per cent to settle at 3711.94 despite having touched a four-year low in June.  

The NASI rose by 28.4 per cent to settle at 171.20.

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