With more than five losers to a gainer, Nigerian equities came under a more intense selling pressure as the stock market reopened on Monday. Open market sell orders obviously increased on the log books of the stockbrokers as several investors sought to raise funds from their liquid assets.
The resultant buyers’ market shaved off N234 billion from the aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). It further worsened the six-day average year-to-date return to -8.0 per cent.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities dropped from N9.296 trillion to close at N9.062 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the value-based benchmark index that tracks prices of all quoted equities on the NSE, declined to a new low at 26,350.18 points from its opening index of 27,028.39 points, representing a drop of 2.51 per cent.
Market pundits said the selloff was being driven by portfolio realignments by fund managers and negative macroeconomic sentiments, especially the foreign exchange crisis. While there was a broad selling spree, analysts at FSDH Securities noted that the steep decline was also due partly to losses suffered by several highly capitalised stocks.
With a tight macroeconomic position and less liquidity, most investors with diverse assets often find their quoted equities the easiest way of raising funds, sometimes ignoring the transaction prices.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities stated that the downtrend on Monday underscored the heightening macroeconomic risk underlined by the continuous slide in crude oil prices and foreign exchange uncertainties which have kept sentiment negative.
“The sustained bearish run in the bourse indicates the poor sentiments for equities. Nevertheless, the selloff cannot be disconnected from portfolio moves by fund managers exiting their position after reporting their full year numbers. We remain bearish on equities in the short term although we expect some level of bargain in the session,” Afrinvest Securities stated in post-trading review.
Lafarge Africa led the 31-stock losers’ list with a loss of N10.14 to close at N94.86. Dangote Cement followed with a loss of N6.89 to close at N153.10. Nigerian Breweries dropped by N3.26 to close at N106.24. Seven-Up Bottling Company fell by N3 to N182. PZ Cussons Nigeria dropped by N1.08 to close at N22.21. Mobil Oil Nigeria lost 80 kobo to close at N151.20.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings declined by 70 kobo to N14.30. UAC of Nigeria slipped by 56 kobo to close at N20.06. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria lost 50 kobo to close at N9.60 while Oando dropped by 38 kobo to close at N5.13 per share.
Total turnover stood at 127.68 million shares valued at N1.37 billion in 2,479 deals.
There were only six gainers. Total Nigeria led with a gain of N7.42 to close at N155.92. Ashaka Cement followed with a gain of N1.20 to close at N25.20. McNichols rose by 5.0 kobo to close at N1.19 while Learn Africa, Wema Bank and Africa Prudential Registrars added 3.0 kobo each to close at 85 kobo, N1.03 and N2.45 respectively.
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