Nigerian equities tumbled on Tuesday as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) concluded its two-day monetary policy meeting and decided to retain the benchmark interest rate at 14 per cent.
Quoted equities at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) depreciated by N67 billion on the back of increased sell pressure as the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) rounded off its last meeting in 2017 without any relaxation of the current high rates.
The All Share Index (ASI)-the value-based common index that tracks share prices at the Exchange, declined by 0.52 per cent to close at 36,600.07 points as against its opening index of 36,792.60 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also dropped correspondingly from N12.805 trillion to close at N12.738 trillion. The decline depressed the average year-to-date return for Nigerian equities to 36.19 per cent.
With 22 decliners to 19 advancers, the negative overall market situation was driven by widespread losses across the sectors. The NSE Banking Index dropped by 1.2 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index declined by 0.9 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index dipped by 0.7 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index and NSE Industrial Goods Index closed flat.
Nigerian Breweries led the decliners with a loss of N4.50 to close at N134. Flour Mills of Nigeria followed with a drop of N1.74 to close at N33.15. Forte Oil declined by N3.89 to close at N40. Zenith Bank lost 74 kobo to close at N24.24. Guaranty Trust Bank slipped by 59 kobo to close at N42.01 while Stanbic IBTC Holdings dropped by 20 kobo to close at N42.40 per share.
On the upside, Nestle Nigeria led the advancers with a gain of N5.26 to close at N1,261.16. Okomu Oil Palm followed with a gain of N2.19 to close at N68.20. International Breweries rose by 85 kobo to close at N51.70. Unilever Nigeria trailed with a gain of 80 kobo to close at N37.80 while Guinness Nigeria rallied 75 kobo to close at N101 per share.
Total turnover stood at 257.92 million shares valued at N3.29 billion in 4,423 deals. The three most active stocks were Tantalizers, with 43.81 million shares; Fidelity Bank, 35.38 million shares and FCMB Group, which recorded 29.73 million shares.
“Although we expect year-end rebalancing of by portfolio managers to boost performance in December, market will likely continue to trade sideways in the interim due to absence of fundamental drivers of sentiment post-earnings season,” Afrinvest Securities-a Lagos based dealer at the NSE, stated.
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