After three consecutive positive trading sessions, sell pressure within the large-cap stocks group forced the overall market position to the negative on Thursday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
While underlining sentiment remained largely positive with 27 advancers to 18 decliners, the selloff within the large-cap stocks group overwhelmed the overall market position.
Benchmark indices at the Exchange showed a marginal decline of 0.03 per cent, equivalent to a net capital depreciation of N4 billion. The average year-to-date return thus slipped to 37.22 per cent.
Aggregate market value of all quoted equities dropped marginally from its opening value of N12.767 trillion to close at N12.763 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the common value-based index that tracks share prices at the Exchange, also slipped from its opening index of 36,887.20 points to close at 36,877.15 points.
The negative overall market position was largely due to losses suffered by Dangote Cement and Nigerian Breweries, Nigeria’s two largest quoted companies. Sectoral indices also reflected the trading pattern and the influence of the large-cap stocks in their sectors.
The NSE Consumer Goods Index-where Nigerian Breweries is listed, declined by 1.2 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index-where Dangote Cement is listed, dropped by 0.1 per cent. However, the NSE Banking Index and the NSE Insurance Index rose by 0.7 per cent each while the NSE Oil & Gas Index closed flat.
Nigerian Breweries recorded the highest loss of N4.77 to close at N145.23. International Breweries followed with a drop of N1.01 to close at N48.99. Unilever Nigeria lost N1 to close at N40. PZ Cussons Nigeria declined by 91 kobo to close at N21.70 while Dangote Cement dropped by 50 kobo to close at N227 per share.
On the positive side, Flour Mills of Nigeria led the rally with a gain of N1.58 to close at N33.69. FBN Holdings rose by 60 kobo to close at N7.11. Nascon Allied Industries appreciated by 45 kobo to close at N116. United Bank for Africa chalked up 39 kobo to close at N10 while Dangote Sugar Refinery appreciated by 28 kobo to close at N15.50 per share.
Total turnover was above average with the exchange of 318.14 million shares valued at N3.95 billion in 5,472 deals. The three most active stocks were FBN Holdings, with a turnover of 73.40 million shares; Union Dicon Salt, 58 million shares and United Bank for Africa, which recorded a turnover of 32.02 million shares.
“Although market performance was dragged by profit taking, investor sentiment strengthened. Hence, we expect to see a rebound in subsequent trading sessions. Our view is further buttressed by the sustained rally in oil prices – above US$60.00/b- which is expected to have a positive knock on impact on the broader economy,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
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