The bears fully bared their fangs yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as increased sell pressure on highly capitalised stocks shaved off N317 billion from market values of quoted companies.
The market has been on the downtrend since opening on Monday but the momentum worsened yesterday with the market losing more than what it had lost in the previous two trading sessions within five hours on Wednesday. Altogether, quoted equities have lost N503 billion in consecutive losses in the three trading sessions of year.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities dropped from N9.665 trillion to close at N9.348 trillion, representing a loss of N317 billion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the value-based common index that tracks prices of all quoted equities, slumped to 27,180.76 points compared with its opening index of 28,102.14 points, representing a day-on-day decline of 3.3 per cent.
With the steep decline on Wednesday, the average year-to-date return has worsened to -5.10 per cent.
While there were more losers than gainers, the exceedingly negative overall market position was driven largely by losses recorded by highly capitalised stocks, especially Dangote Cement and Nigerian Breweries, the two most capitalised stocks at the Exchange.
Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s most capitalised stock, led the 21-stock losers’ list with a loss of N16.57 to close at N153.43 per share. Nigerian Breweries, the second most capitalised company, followed with a drop of N6.74 o close at N116. PZ Cussons Nigeria dropped by 71 kobo to close at N23.71. Union Homes Savings and Loans declined by 47 kobo to close at N4.50. Union Bank of Nigeria dipped by 34 kobo to close at N6.56. Okomu Oil Palm declined by 30 kobo to close at N31.48 while Skye Bank dropped by 14 kobo to close at N1.36 per share.
Total turnover stood at 202.72 million shares worth N1.48 billion 3,017 deals. The three most active stocks were FCMB Group, with 50.89 million shares; Access Bank, 21.62 million shares and Zenith Bank, which recorded a turnover of 19.92 million shares.
On the upside, Lafarge Africa led 13 other contrarian stocks with a gain of N8.99 to close at N105. Seven-Up Bottling Company followed with a gain of N6.89 to close at N188.89. Berger Paints rose by 50 kobo to N10.50 while Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (Nahco) and Portland Paints and Products Nigeria added 18 kobo each to close at N3.78 and N3.94 respectively.
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