Nigerian equities recorded their third consecutive decline on Wednesday as selling pressure from a mix of profit-taking and Yuletide transactions shaved off N42 billion from the market capitalisation at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the Exchange dropped by N42 billion from N9.132 trillion to close at N9.090 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), which tracks prices at the NSE, declined by 0.46 per cent from its opening index of 26,540.87 points to close at 26,418.11 points.
The sustained decline built up the negative average year-to-date return to -7.77 per cent.
While there were more gainers than losers, the decline was due to losses sustained by highly capitalised stocks in the oil and gas and banking sectors. Most sectoral indices showed the negative impact of the losses by sectoral leaders.
The NSE Oil and Gas Index declined by 3.7 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index dropped by 0.3 per cent. The NSE Banking Index dipped by 0.5 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index closed flat. However, the NSE Industrial Goods Index was the contrarian with a gain of 0.59 per cent.
Seplat Petroleum Development Company led the 16-stock losers’ list with a loss of N19.50 to close at N370.50. Forte Oil followed with a loss of N9.22 to close at N85.47. CAP declined by N1.66 to close at N31.60. Beta Glass dropped by N1.52 to close at N28.88. Unilever Nigeria lost N1 to close at N35. Stanbic IBTC Holdings dropped by 74 kobo to close at N14.21.
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated dropped by 57 kobo to close at N10.88. Dangote Sugar Refinery lost 24 kobo to close at N6.08 while Oando dropped by 21 kobo to close at N4.20 per share.
Total turnover stood above average at 421.18 million shares valued at N10.07 billion in 3,937 deals. The three most active stocks were Mutual Benefit Assurance, with 90.22 million shares; Oando, with 51.81 million and Fidson Healthcare which recorded a turnover of 49.35 million shares.
Analysts said the market trend was due to profit-taking transactions after equities rallied N306 billion gain last week.
“We anticipate a likely rebound towards the end of the final week of the year after Christmas,” Afrinvest Securities, a Lagos-based dealer on the NSE, stated.
Meanwhile, most stocks closed on the positive side, underlining the widespread positive sentiments driving bargain-hunting for relatively undervalued growth stocks. Conoil led the 20-stock gainers’ list with a gain of N1.69 to close at N35.80.
Lafarge Africa followed with a gain of 99 kobo to close at N40.99. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria rose by 75 kobo to close at N15.75. Cadbury Nigeria added 40 kobo to close at N11.10 while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria and Okomu Oil Palm gathered 21 kobo each to close at N4.42 and N40 respectively.
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