The downtrend at the Nigerian stock market continued on a higher momentum on Wednesday as weak corporate earnings compounded the crunchy liquidity squeeze to sap away investors’ appetite. Quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) recorded net loss of N91 billion within the five-hour trading session on Wednesday, representing an average loss of 0.9 per cent. The decline pushed the average year-to-date return deeper into the red at -1.5 per cent.
With 27 decliners against eight advancers, the equities market witnessed increased sell-off on Wednesday as turnover volume and value increased by 28 per cent and 33 per cent respectively. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities dropped from N9.784 trillion to close at N9.693 trillion. The benchmark index for the stock market, the All Share Index (ASI), declined from 28,488.56 points to close at 28,221.18 points.
Most group and sectoral indices closed in the red, underlining the widespread selling sentiments that shaped trading. The NSE Banking Index dropped by 1.3 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index lost 1.2 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index declined by 0.9 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index dropped by 0.5 per cent. However, the NSE Consumer Goods Index inched up by 0.04 per cent.
Analysts said weak corporate earnings contributed to the downtrend. Most companies that have so far released their half-year results showed decline in performance. Lafarge Africa, which announced its six-month results on Wednesday, recorded net loss after tax of N30.25 billion during the period.
Dangote Cement, NSE’s most capitalised stock, led the losers with a loss of N2.50 to close at N187.50. Total Nigeria followed with a loss of N2 to close at N180. Stanbic IBTC Holdings lost 72 kobo to close at N14.20. Zenith Bank declined by 64 kobo to close at N15.50. Oando slipped by 57 kobo to N5.39. Lafarge Africa lost 26 kobo to close at N59.80 while Guinness Nigeria declined by 21 kobo to N96.79 per share.
Total turnover increased to 309.7 million shares valued at N2.1 billion. Low-priced stocks dominated the activities chart. NEM Insurance was the most active stock with 93.34 million shares valued at N93.34. United Bank for Africa followed with a turnover of 40.74 million shares valued at N182.51 million while Skye Bank shifted to third position with 35.95 million shares worth N28.02 million.
On the positive side, Flour Mills of Nigeria led the contrarian stock, rising by 20 kobo to N21.70. Dangote Sugar Refinery followed with a gain of 15 kobo to close at N6.80. Premier Breweries added 14 kobo to close at N2.95. Skye Bank and Nigerian Breweries rose by six kobo each to close at 78 kobo and N135.10. Transnationwide Express chalked up five kobo to close at N1.06 while NPF Microfinance Bank and Ikeja Hotel inched up one kobo each to close at 95 kobo and N1.90 respectively.
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