Nigerian Stocks Gain to Pare Weekly Loss as Oil Takes Focus

Stocks in Nigeria gained, curbing the first weekly loss since March 20, as an economy facing low oil prices squared off with a post-election rally for investors’ attention.

The bourse climbed 17 percent last week, the most since at least 1998, as President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat to Muhammadu Buhari after the March 28 and 29 vote. The move eased concern that the result would be disputed in a country with a history of election-related violence and took attention away from the impact of falling oil prices on Africa’s biggest producer. While Brent crude gained the most this week since Feb. 13, the commodity is still down about 50 percent since June.

“After responding to the positive news about the elections, investors are now looking at the fundamentals,” Tajudeen Ibrahim, head of equity research at Chapel Hill Denham Securities Ltd., said by phone from Lagos. “They’re still weak. We aren’t going to see a sudden recovery in the economy.”

Capital markets in Nigeria, which derives 90 percent of export earnings and two-thirds of government revenue from oil, have been hit by the plunge in crude prices. The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index rose 1.2 percent to 34,930.02 by the close in Lagos, paring losses since April 2 to 2.2 percent. The gauge is down 14 percent over the past six months.

Wema Bank Plc led decliners this week, dropping 14 percent to 0.95 naira. Seplat Petroleum Development Co. decreased 13 percent to 388.50 naira.

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