Nigerian equities relapsed again into the negative on Thursday, continuing the topsy-turvy that has seen the stock market trading alternatively between positive and negative.
Against the background of a gain of N14 billion on Wednesday, the market suffered a net capital loss of N19 billion on Thursday.
Transactions at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed a slowdown in demand for equities as investors continued to rue the sustained losses in the past three years.
There were nearly two losers for every gainer on Thursday with group and sectoral indices indicated market-wide selling sentiments.
The All Share Index (ASI)-the benchmark index that tracks prices at the Exchange, declined by 0.2 per cent to close at 26,330.39 points as against its opening index of 26,385.80 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also dropped from N9.079 trillion to close at N9.060 trillion.
Nearly all sectoral indices closed in the negative, with the exception of the NSE Banking Index which recorded a marginal gain of 0.9 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index declined by 1.6 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index dropped by 0.9 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index slipped by 0.03 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index dipped by 0.02 per cent.
The downtrend was also partly driven by losses recorded by highly capitalised stocks, especially in the fast moving consumer goods and oil and gas sectors. Nestle Nigeria led the 23-stock losers’ list with a loss of N19 to close at N790. Forte Oil dropped by N7.50 to close at N73.99.
Guinness Nigeria declined by N1.40 to close at N73.50. Total Nigeria lost N1 to close at N304. Conoil declined by 98 kobo to close at N36.50. Nascon Allied Industries dropped by 82 kobo to close at N7.63. PZ Cussons Nigeria slipped by 71 kobo to close at N13.79.
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated dropped by 30 kobo to close at N9.70. Flour Mills of Nigeria declined by 20 kobo to close at N18.10 while UAC of Nigeria lost 18 kobo to close at N16.80 per share.
Total turnover declined slightly by 9.2 per cent to 179.3 million shares valued at N1.5 billion. United Bank was the most active stock with 36.02 million shares worth N175.12 million. FBN Holdings followed with 29.43 million shares valued at N108.4 million while Access Bank placed third with 16.53 million shares worth N107.48 million.
On the positive side, Zenith Bank led the 13-stock gainers’ list with a gain of 31 kobo to close at N15.50. United Bank for Africa followed with a gain of 23 kobo to close at N4.93. Access Bank rose by 17 kobo to close at N6.57. Capital Hotel added 16 kobo to close at N3.47. Oando chalked up 9.0 kobo to close at N4.70 while May and Baker Nigeria and Livestock Feeds added 4.0 kobo each to close at 98 kobo and 85 kobo respectively.
“The weak level of sentiment amidst low trading volumes suggests the market will trade soft in subsequent sessions,” Afrinvest Securities stated, in post-trading comment that points at negative closure for the market this week.
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