For the third consecutive trading session, Nigerian equities on Wednesday continued on the downtrend with more than three decliners to every advancer in the five-hour trading session at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Benchmark indices at the Exchange showed an average day-on-day decline of 2.68 per cent, equivalent to a net capital loss of N342 billion. The sustained decline depressed the average year-to-date return at the stock market to 34.34 per cent.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the Exchange declined from N12.786 trillion to close at N12.444 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the main value-based index that tracks prices at the Exchange, dropped from its opening value of 37,096.60 points to close at 36,102.38 points.
All sectoral indices closed negative, underlining the wide spread of the selling sentiment. The NSE Industrial Goods Index declined by 3.1 per cent. The NSE Banking Index dropped by 2.8 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index and NSE Oil & Gas Index depreciated by 1.0 per cent each while the NSE Insurance Index slipped by 0.1 per cent.
The sustained decline was mainly driven by widespread profit-taking transactions by investors seeking to monetise capital gains, especially within the mid and large-cap stocks.
There were 31 decliners to 10 advancers while there was also considerable decline in momentum of activities. Dangote Cement-the most capitalised company at the NSE, led the decliners with a loss of N11 to close at N214. Total Nigeria followed with a loss of N9.55 to close at N227. Nigerian Breweries dropped by N5 to close at N185. Guinness Nigeria declined by N1.93 to close at N87.96. Stanbic IBTC Holdings lost N1.92 to close at N37.03. Guaranty Trust Bank dropped by N1.82 to close at N37.10 while Forte Oil declined by N1.50 to close at N50 per share.
Total turnover stood at 224.77 million shares valued at N5.09 billion in 4,822 deals. Banking stocks remained atop the activities chart. The three most active stocks were FBN Holdings, with a turnover of 34.46 million shares; Access Bank, 27.42 million shares and Guaranty Trust Bank, which recorded a turnover of 25.15 million shares.
On the positive side, Nestle Nigeria raised the bar of its pricing with a gain of N11.90 to set a new high at N1,220 per share. Nascon Allied Industries occupied a distant second with a gain of 31 kobo to close at N12. Union Bank of Nigeria rose by 21 kobo to close at N6. Dangote Sugar Refinery appreciated by 13 kobo to close at N12.80. Vitafoam Nigeria chalked up 12 kobo to close at N2.83 while University Press rose by 10 kobo to close at N2.78 per share.
“Nonetheless, we believe this negative trend will be reversed on account of bargain hunting. Hence we anticipate a rebound in the equities market in subsequent sessions this week,” Afrinvest Securities stated in an optimistic note to investors.
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