StockbrokersTwo equities registered gains on Wednesday but that was not enough to help the market extend gains at the end of the midweek session as five equities weighed down the indices.

Produce Buying Company and Fan Milk were the gainers, inching up a pesewa each to 17GHp and GH?7.47 respectively.

On the flip side Total Petroleum failed to cling to gains registered yesterday shedding 2GHp to GH?6.51. UT Bank which saw 2013 earnings slide 54% also shaved 2GHp to 41GHp while Stanchart drifted southward to GH?19.94 from GH?19.96. CAL Bank and Mechanical Lloyd completed the list shedding a pesewa each to 97GHp and 34GHp respectively.

A total of 156,489 shares valued at GH?473,018 were exchanged in fourteen equities. Ghana Commercial Bank had the lion?s share of volume and turnover as it accounted for 64.8% of volume and 87.7% of value traded.

With these changes, the benchmark Composite Index trimmed 2.52 points to close at 2,385.32. This resulted in a year-to-date return of 11.19%.

The Financial Index (FI) was also pegged back by three banking stocks shedding 4.29 points to 2,087.87 corresponding to a year-to-date return of 16.86%.

Outlook

In the days ahead we foresee a mix of gains and loses by some listed equities. As investors await dividend announcements we expect Ghana Commercial Bank, SIC Insurance, Ghana Oil and Fan Milk to edge higher. On the other hand, profit taking may see the shares of Guinness Ghana and Standard Chartered sliding.

On the currency market, the Cedi recorded a mixed outturn, appreciating against the Pound and the Rand but losing grounds to the Dollar, Euro and the Swiss Franc.

The Cedi was up 0.13% and 0.31% against the Pound and the Rand with rates on the interbank market averaging GH?4.47 and GH?0.25 today.

The Cedi however slipped against the Dollar which was given a boost by a rise in U.S. manufacturing index from 53.2 in February to 53.7 in March. The local currency as a result gave up 0.03% against the greenback to trade at an average rate of GH?2.69.

A drop in Spain?s unemployment rate gave a boost to the Euro against the Cedi. Rates by bankers for the shared currency versus the Cedi averaged GH?3.71 today. This represents a slide of 0.23% from Tuesday?s GH?3.70.

Against the Swiss Franc the local currency gave up 0.23% to close at GH?3.04.

Source Merban Stockbrokers Ltd

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