There were more advancers than decliners on Thursday at the Nigerian stock market but losses by high-cap stocks in the fast moving consumer goods and banking sectors extended the downtrend at the stock market to its fourth consecutive trading session.
Benchmark indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed average day-on-day decline of 0.35 per cent, equivalent to net capital depreciation of N43 billion. The decline on Thursday concluded the week-long depreciation that had set most equities at lower values.
The sustained decline pared the average year-to-date return for Nigerian equities to 32.11 per cent. Thursday was the last trading day for the week and the month of August, following the declaration of Friday and Monday as public holidays to mark Muslim’s Eid-ul-Kabir festival, Muslims main festival.
The overall negative market position on Thursday was driven mainly by losses suffered by influential large-cap stocks and it belied the wide resurgent bargain-hunting that saw prices mostly closing on the upside.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) declined from its opening value of N12.280 trillion to close at N12.237 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the common value-based index that tracks share prices at the Exchange, also dropped from its opening index of 35,629.13 points to close at 35,504.62 points.
With 27 advancers to 20 decliners, most sectoral indices closed positive with the NSE Insurance Index posting a gain of 1.4 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index rose by 0.9 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index inched up by 0.1 per cent. On the negative side, the NSE Banking Index dipped by 0.2 per cent while the NSE Consumer Goods Index slipped by 1.0 per cent.
Nigerian Breweries- NSE’s second most capitalised company, led the decliners with a drop of N4.97 to close at N180.03. Stanbic IBTC Holdings followed with a loss of N1.73 to close at N38.27. Julius Berger Nigeria trailed with a drop of N1.71 to close at N32.49. Cadbury Nigeria lost 60 kobo to close at N11.47. SCOA Nigeria dropped by 17 kobo to close at N3.25. United Bank for Africa lost 15 kobo to close at N9.10 while Guaranty Trust Bank dipped by 11 kobo to close at N39.19 per share.
On the positive side, Seplat Petroleum Development Company led the contrarian stocks with a gain of N8.50 to close at N490.50.Total Nigeria followed with a gain of N2 to close at N245. Guinness Nigeria rose by 50 kobo to close at N75.50. Dangote Cement appreciated by 48 kobo to close at N205. PZ Cussons Nigeria added 41 kobo to close at N27.30. Dangote Sugar Refinery rose by 28 kobo to close at N13.50 while Dangote Flour Mills and Zenith Bank chalked up 20 kobo each to close at N6.40 and N23 respectively.
Total turnover stood at 266.5 million shares valued at N4.04 billion in 2,263 deals. The three most active stocks were: Sovereign Trust Insurance, with 100 million shares; FBN Holdings, 26.43 million shares and Access Bank, which recorded a turnover of 23.13 million shares.
“Following the evident improvement in investor sentiment, we expect market performance in the coming week to be buoyed by sustained bargain hunting by investors,” analysts at Afrinvest Securities stated.
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