The downtrend at the Nigerian stock market widened on Thursday with an average of five losers for every gainer, but a last-minute rally by Dangote Cement Plc pushed the overall market position to the positive side for the first time this year.
With 30 losers to six gainers, group indices showed widespread declines in share prices of most traded stocks. However, a 4.5 per cent or N6.55 gain by Dangote Cement Plc lifted the market to its first gain. Dangote Cement is the most capitalised quoted company and it controls nearly one quarter of the aggregate market value of the equities market.
The All Share Index (ASI)-the value-based index that tracks prices of all quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), inched up by 0.31 per cent to close at 27,266.18 points as against its opening index of 27,180.76 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted companies also rose slightly by N29 billion from N9.348 trillion to close at N9.377 trillion.
The 0.31 per cent gain, the first gain of the year, improved the negative four-day average return to -4.80 per cent.
“The appreciation recorded in the share price of Dangote Cement lifted the equity market into positive territory today,” FSDH Securities, which trades on the NSE, stated.
Traders at Afrinvest Securities also noted that “last minute rally” in Dangote Cement was the main boost for the positive overall position. Dangote Cement rose by N6.55 to close at N159.98. Okomu Oil Palm followed with a gain of N1.52 to close at N33. E-Tranzact added 15 kobo to close at N3.19. Fidson Healthcare rose by 11 kobo to close at N2.70 while Learn Africa and Vono Products inched up by 3.0 kobo to close at 80 kobo and 92 kobo respectively.
Afrinvest Securities noted that without the last-minute gain by Dangote Cement, the equities market would have declined for the fourth consecutive trading session by 1.2 per cent.
All sectoral indices, with the exception Dangote Cement’s NSE Industrial Goods Index, closed in the negative. The NSE Banking Index declined by 2.1 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index dropped by 1.3 per cent. The NSE Oil and Gas Index depreciated by 1.1 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index dropped by 0.5 per cent. However, the NSE Industrial Goods Index, which included Dangote Cement, appreciated by 2.1 per cent.
Seplat Petroleum Development Company led the losers with a drop of N7.03 to close at N196.07. Seven-Up Bottling Company followed with a drop of N3.63 to close at N185.26. Nigerian Breweries declined by N3 to close at N113. Zenith Bank slipped by 46 kobo to N13.40. Union Bank of Nigeria dropped by 32 kobo to close at N6.24. Dangote Sugar Refinery lost 30 kobo to close at N5.76. Oando dropped by 29 kobo to close at N5.61 while Access Bank lost 24 kobo to close at N4.58 per share.
Total turnover stood at 166.39 million shares valued at N1.66 billion in 2,923 deals. Guaranty Trust Bank was the most active stock with 26.07 million shares valued at N468.03 million. Access Bank followed with a turnover of 24.28 million shares valued at N111.9 million while United Bank for Africa recorded a turnover of 22.36 million shares worth N71.64 million.
“We believe the current sentiment in the local market together with disturbing news flows across global equities markets suggest cautious positioning in equities. Nonetheless, investors with long term horizon are urged to stick to stocks with sound fundamentals,” Afrinvest Securities stated in post trading review.
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