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Nigerian equities remained on the negative as the stock market opened Monday under selling pressure. The All Share Index (ASI), the value-based index that tracks prices of all quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), depreciated by 0.29 per cent or 94.22 points to close at 32,444.12 points as against its opening index of 32,538.34 points.

Aggregate market value of all quoted companies also dipped to N11.075 trillion from its opening value of N11.107 trillion, representing a drop of N32 billion. With this, the negative average year-to-date return worsened to -6.39 per cent. With inflation rate at 9.0 per cent, this implied inflation adjusted return of about -15.4 per cent.

The downtrend highlighted investors’ lukewarm appetite for Nigerian equities as investors gauge the mood of the new government of President Muhammadu Buhari. Market analysts said the market downtrend underlined the widespread uncertainty over global and national macroeconomic directions.

“In our opinion, the present activities in the equities market are due to a lack of investor confidence, as economic happenings continue to send undesirable signals,” analysts at Meristem Securities had said.

Most indices on Monday showed widespread selling sentiments. The NSE Consumer Goods Index dropped by 0.80 per cent drop while the NSE Oil/Gas Index and NSE Banking Index dropped by 0.55 per cent and 0.22 per cent respectively. There were 31 losers against 21 gainers. Total Nigeria recorded the highest loss of N8 to close at N157 per share. Seplat Petroleum Development Company trailed with a loss of N5.95 to close at N336.05. Guinness Nigeria dipped by N4.80 to close at N147.20 per share. Nestle Nigeria dropped by N3.99 to close at N850.01 while Mobil Oil Nigeria depreciated by N2 to close at N148 per share.

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On the other hand, two sectoral indices appreciated. The NSE Industrial Goods Index rose by 1.53 per cent increase. The NSE Insurance Index also recorded a gain of 0.90 per cent. Seven-Up Bottling Company topped the gainers’ list with a gain of N4 to close at N194. Lafarge Africa gained N3.50 to close at N104.50. Forte Oil rose by N2 to close at N192 per share. Flour Mill of Nigeria appreciated by 50 kobo to close at N34 while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated rose by 35 kobo to close at N22.10 per share.

Total turnover increased by 12.5 per cent as investors exchanged a total of 155.869 million shares worth N1.66 billion in 3,230 deals as against the 138.555 million shares valued at N1.55 billion traded in 2,796 deals on Friday.

Stock-by-stock analysis showed that Access Bank was the most active stock, with a turnover of 30.659 million shares worth N163.16 million. United Bank for Africa (UBA) followed with a turnover of 12.105 million shares valued at N55.46 million. Zenith Bank placed third with 11.912 million shares worth N226.59 million. FBN Holdings recorded a turnover of 6.79 million valued at N54.09 million while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria recorded a turnover of 5.69 million worth N15.26 million.

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