The underlying positive sentiments at the Nigerian stock market continued on Wednesday but a 3.64 per cent decline in the share price of Dangote Cement Plc upset the overall market position, leaving equities with a net capital loss of N69 billion.
With more than two advancers for every decliner, the market was obviously generally trading on demand but Dangote Cement, the most capitalised stock at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), weighed in on the negative side. Dangote Cement controls some one-third of total market capitalisation at the NSE.
After two consecutive rallies, aggregate market value of all quoted companies at the NSE declined by N69 billion to close at N8.865 trillion compared with its opening value of N8.934 trillion. The benchmark index, the All Share Index (ASI), also declined by 0.77 per cent from 25,818.87 points to close at 25,620.94 points. The average year-to-date return built up to -4.66 per cent.
With 24 gainers to 10 losers, the negative overall market position was driven mainly by losses recorded by Dangote Cement. This was evident in the performance of the sectoral indices. The NSE Industrial Goods Index, where Dangote Cement is listed, was the only decliner among the tracked indices, dropping by 1.6 per cent.
Meanwhile, the NSE Oil & Gas Index appreciated by 1.2 per cent. The NSE Banking Index rose by 0.6 per cent. The NSE InsuranceIndex appreciated by 0.4 per cent while the NSE Consumer Goods Index slipped by 0.2 per cent.
Dangote Cement led the losers with a loss of N6 to close at N159. Presco followed with a drop of N1.70 to close at N45. UAC of Nigeria declined by 43 kobo to close at N14. Beta Glass dropped by 40 kobo to close at N46 while Newrest ASL lost 13 kobo to close at N4.17.
Meanwhile, the bulls remained active in most sectors. Seplat Petroleum Development Company led the gainers with a gain of N5 to close at N410. Okomu Oil Palm followed with a gain of N1.40 to close at N48. Stanbic IBTC Holdings appreciated by N1.11 to close at N23.42. International Breweries added 34 kobo to close at N17.84 while Oando rose by 33 kobo to close at N5.73 per share.
Total turnover stood at 255.72 million shares valued at N1.67 billion in 2,845 deals. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria was the most active stock with 56 million shares worth N48.09 million. Oando followed with 45.43 million shares valued at N267.28 million while UACN Property Development Company placed third with 25.5 million shares worth N47.4 million.
“The influx of largely positive earnings scorecards has continued to strengthen investor sentiment in equities and we expect market performance to continue to be determined by the earnings releases. Overall, we are very positive on earnings for first quarter, due to subtle improvement in macroeconomic fundamentals in the quarter and different survival strategies adopted by companies,” analysts at Afrinvest Securities stated on the underlining mood at the market.
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