Quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) continued under selling pressure on Thursday as portfolio investors booked profits on leading large-cap stocks. The downtrend orchestrated by profit-taking transactions shaved off N30 billion from aggregate market value of quoted companies.
With 26 losers to 18 gainers, trading on Thursday was marked by market orders for sale of highly capitalised stocks such as Nestle Nigeria, Seven-Up Bottling Company, Dangote Cement, Unilever Nigeria and UAC of Nigeria (UACN) among others. The negative overall market situation dampened the trading pattern.
The benchmark index at the stock market, the All Share Index (ASI), indicated average decline of 0.38 per cent to close at 23,517.19 points as against its opening index of 23,605.89 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also dropped from N8.118 trillion to N8.088 trillion, representing a loss of N30 billion. Average year-to-date return now stands at -17.89 per cent.
Nestle Nigeria, Nigeria’s highest-priced quoted company, led the losers with a loss of N37 to close at N703. Seven-Up Bottling Company followed with a loss of N9.34 to close at N177.61. Dangote Cement lost N2.70 to close at N124.30. Julius Berger Nigeria dropped by N2 to close at N41.50. Unilever Nigeria declined by N1.46 to close at N30.35. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria lost 47 kobo to close at N9.11. Dangote Sugar Refinery dropped by 31 kobo to close at N5.91 while UACN dropped by 30 kobo to close at N19 per share.
Turnover was however boosted by continuing voluminous transactions on Wema Bank Plc. Trading on Wema Bank accounted for about 93 per cent of total turnover volume. The transactions on Wema Bank were cross deals, which implied transfer of shares due to pre-arranged transactions.
Total turnover stood at 2.64 billion shares valued at N3.74 billion in 3,057 deals. Wema Bank topped the activities’ chart with a turnover of 2.45 billion shares. FBN Holdings staged a distant second with a turnover of 40.7 million shares while FCMB recorded a turnover of 38.02 million shares.
On the upside, Forte Oil topped the contrarian stocks with a gain of N26.50 to close at N310. Guinness Nigeria followed with a gain of N5.58 to close at N122.34. International Breweries rose by N1.73 to close at N19.55. Presco added 75 kobo to close at N34. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated gathered 49 kobo to close at N15.49 while Guaranty Trust Bank added 36 kobo to close at N15.90 per share.
“On the back of current macroeconomic headwinds including dwindling oil prices and foreign exchange concerns, our short term outlook remains bearish. We maintain our long term investment recommendation for equities. Nevertheless, speculative opportunities would remain available for active investors who could take advantage of current oscillatory price movement,” Afrinvest Securities-a Lagos-based dealer at the NSE, stated in post-trading review.
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