Nigerian equities opened with a tinge of bearishness on Monday as losses by a handful of highly capitalised stocks dragged the market to a negative close.
Benchmark indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed a marginal decline of 0.02 per cent, equivalent to net capital depreciation of N3 billion.
With 23 advancers to 20 decliners, the negative overall market position was due largely to losses suffered by large-cap stocks such as Nigerian Breweries, Total Nigeria, Zenith Bank and United Bank for Africa.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities dropped from its opening value of N12.785 trillion to close at N12.782 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the value-based index that tracks share prices, also slipped from its opening index of 36,939.59 points to close at 36,930.83 points. The average year-to-date return dipped to 37.42 per cent.
The weights of the declining large-cap stocks were evident across the sectors, despite the underlying bargain-hunting in mot stocks. Most sectoral indices closed negative. The NSE Insurance Index dropped by 0.8 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index declined by 0.7 per cent while the NSE Consumer Goods Index slipped by 0.2 per cent.
On the other hand, the NSE Banking Index rose by 0.19 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index was almost flat.
Total turnover stood at 466.52 million shares valued at N2.90 billion in 4,274 deals. Jaiz Bank was the most active stock with 226.77 million shares valued at N133.81 million. FBN Holdings followed with 43.48 million shares worth N304.95 million while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria placed third with 27.23 million shares valued at N40.56 million.
Total Nigeria led the decliners with a loss of N11 to close at N225. Seven-Up Bottling Company followed with a drop of N2 to close at N88. International Breweries lost N1.65 to close at N45.20. Flour Mills of Nigeria dropped by 97 kobo to close at N34.50. UAC of Nigeria lost 62 kobo to close at N18.38. Newrest ASL dipped by 28 kobo to close at N6.15. Zenith Bank dropped by 23 kobo to close at N25.69 while United Bank for Africa declined by 20 kobo to close at N9.70 per share.
On the upside, Guinness Nigeria led the rally with a gain of N2 to close at N102. Guaranty Trust Bank rose by 54 kobo to close at N41.75. United Capital added 22 kobo to close at N3.38. Eterna rose by 20 kobo to close at N4.35. Cadbury Nigeria appreciated by 17 kobo to close at N10.28 while Fidson Healthcare chalked up 16 kobo to close at N3.95 per share.
“Given the continued rally in global oil prices and subsequent improved buying interest in Nigerian assets, we expect investor sentiment to remain positive in the near term although we do not rule out possibility of profit taking in some low cap stocks that have recently attracted positive investor sentiment,” Afrinvest Securities-a Lagos-based dealer on the NSE, stated.
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