Nigerian equities reopened on Monday to a tight balance of profit-taking and bargain-hunting as investors weighed the prospects of the incoming first-half results against capital gains that had accrued in six consecutive positive trading sessions.
While there were profit-taking transactions in banking and mid-cap non-banking stocks that had witnessed significant capital appreciation in recent period, investors sought to take positions in large-cap stocks in the influential fast moving consumer goods and industrial goods sectors.
With 23 advancers to 26 decliners, the bargain-hunting in large-cap stocks counteracted the profit-taking in other groups, leaving the market with a modest gain of N13 billion or 0.12 per cent.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) rose from its opening value of N11.464 trillion to close at N11.477 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the value-based common index that tracks share prices at the Exchange rose from its opening index of 33,261.66 points to close at 33,301.43 points. Average year-to-date return consequently rose marginally to 23.91 per cent.
Sectoral indices showed mixed, though largely negative, performance. The NSE Insurance Index declined by 0.6 per cent. The NSE Banking Index and NSE Oil & Gas Index dropped by 0.5 per cent each. On the other hand, the NSE Consumer Goods Index rose by 1.3 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index inched up by 0.03 per cent.
The overall market performance was however driven largely by gains recorded by Nigerian Breweries, Forte Oil, Dangote Cement, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Unilever Nigeria, Seven-Up Bottling Company and Nestle Nigeria.
Seven-Up Bottling Company led the23-stock advancers’ list with a gain of N5.72 to close at N94.95. Forte Oil followed with a gain of N4.33 to close at N60.50. Unilever Nigeria rose by N3.38 to close at N36.38. Nigerian Breweries rallied N3.36 to close at N157.38. Flour Mills of Nigeria rose by N1.25 to close at N26.25. Nestle Nigeria garnered 95 kobo to close at N904. Okomu Oil Palm rose by 86 kobo to close at N60.38. Dangote Cement added 20 kobo to close at N209.20 while Champion Breweries chalked up 15 kobo to close at N2.65 per share.
On the negative side, International Breweries led the decliners with a loss of N1.46 to close at N30. PZ Cussons Nigeria dropped by 85 kobo to close at N20.65. Oando lost 72 kobo to close at N6.83. Nascon Allied Industries declined by 47 kobo to close at N9.03. Dangote Sugar Refinery dipped by 34 kobo to close at N8.66. United Bank for Africa dropped by 20 kobo to close at N8.80 per share. Access Bank and FBN Holdings declined by 17 kobo each to close at N9.73 and N5.87 respectively. BOC Gases dropped by 15 kobo to N2.99 while May & Baker Nigeria lost 14 kobo to close at N2.79 per share.
Total turnover stood at 322.81 million shares valued at N2.73 billion in 3,830 deals. Low-priced stocks dominated the top activities’ chart. Niger Insurance was the most active stock with 150.05 million shares valued at N72.03 million. FBN Holdings followed with 35.97 million shares worth N213.76 million while FCMB Group placed third with 14.85 million shares valued at N17.95.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities noted that while the decline in market breadth was suggestive of waning sentiment towards equities, the market may remain bullish in the short to medium term as expectations on the half-year 2017 corporate earnings remain positive.
Most quoted companies are expected to submit their six-month half-year results for 2017 on or before the end of this month. There are indications that not less than 100 companies-including the blue chip, large-cap companies, will submit their earnings reports within the next 14 days.
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