The Nairobi bourse has been on a slide for the past three weeks running as effects on the coronavirus takes its toll on financial markets around the world. Data from the exchange shows that the benchmark NSE 20 Share Index shed off 161.91 points (6.48%) and closed the week at a ten year low of 2337.03.
The Nairobi All Share Index (NASI) ended the week 9.78 points lower or 6.18% to settle at 148.60.
The NSE which is largely driven by activity by foreign investors witnessed massive sell-offs in Safaricom and banking shares according to data as of today’s market close.
“Foreign investors on average account for 70% of total turnover; thus, if they are in risk aversion mode, the bearish effect is felt across the bourse. Essentially, the sell-off is not unique to Kenya alone, as evidenced by the global downturn in stock prices,” noted Martin Kirimi, a senior Research Associate at Standard Investment Bank (SIB), a Nairobi based investment bank which handles a huge chunk of the foreign investor trades.
“The NSE 20 Share index hit a 10-year low and the recent repeal of the rate cap law has not been sufficient to jump-start this market,” noted Nderi Johnson, an analyst at ABC Bank.
On a global scale, financial markets saw some of the sharpest falls in years after a rise in coronavirus cases renewed fears about a global economic slowdown.
The Dow fell 2.72% at the opening bell with Apple and Microsoft sliding 3.83% and 1.95% respectively. The Nasdaq 100 on the other hand fell 2.65% as Tesla dropped 5.92%. S&P 500 was 2.67% lower at the same time.
Latest information indicates that investors are running scared as the epidemic coronavirus spread to more than 30 countries, with South Korea reporting a jump in infections and Italy locking down an area of 50,000 people near Milan.
Finance chiefs and central bankers from the largest economies have warned that they see the virus bringing downside risks to global growth.