Profit-taking transactions tipped the modest rally that started this week to the negative side by the mid week as investors extended the underlying selling pressure to many highly capitalised stocks.
Large-cap stocks in the fast moving consumer goods, banking and industrial goods sectors had been the main drivers of the rally earlier this week in spite of wider selling pressure across the sectors. Profit-taking transactions on these large-cap stocks on Wednesday orchestrated the decline in overall market position.
The All Share Index (ASI), the common value-based benchmark index that tracks prices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) slipped by 0.03 per cent to close at 28,027.23 points as against its opening index of 28,034.32 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the NSE also dropped marginally by N2 billion from its opening value of N9.629 trillion to close at N9.627 trillion.
With 20 decliners to 13 advancers, the overall market position reflected both the preponderance of losers to gainers as well as losses suffered by highly capitalised stocks. Sectoral indices underlined the concentration of the profit-taking trend within the large-cap cement and fast moving consumer goods stocks. The NSE Industrial Goods Index declined by 0.9 per cent.
The NSE Consumer Goods Index lost 0.6 per cent. However, the NSE Oil & Gas Index rose by 1.5 per cent. The NSE Banking Index appreciated by 0.7 per cent while the NSE Insurance Index inched up by 0.2 per cent.
Nestle Nigeria, NSE’s highest-priced stock, topped the losers’ list with a loss of N19.43 to close at N805.57. Lafarge Africa followed with a loss of N1.28 to close at N46.81. Presco dropped by N1.25 to close at N40.25. Flour Mills of Nigeria declined by 65 kobo to close at N20.05. UACN Property Development Company lost 37 kobo to close at N3.58.
E-Tranzact dipped by 28 kobo to N5.41. Dangote Sugar Refinery lost 18 kobo to close at N6.32 per share. Nigeria Aviation Handling Company and Oando dropped by 13 kobo to close at N3.17 and N5.20 respectively while Nigerian Breweries lost 12 kobo to close at N147.98.
On the other hand, Seplat Petroleum Development Company led the advancers with a gain of N18.37 to close at N385.88. Guinness Nigeria followed with a gain of N3.74 to close at N79.74. Total Nigeria rose by N2.50 to close at N289.50. Guaranty Trust Bank added 15 kobo to close at N24 while United Bank for Africa chalked up 13 kobo to close at N4.31 per share.
Turnover dropped below recent average as investors traded 155.58 million shares valued at N1.43 billion in 3,277 deals. Guaranty Trust Bank was the most active stock with a turnover of 28.09 million shares valued at N672.8 million. United Bank for Africa followed with a turnover of 28.04 million shares valued at N119.8 million while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) placed third with a turnover of 14.75 million shares worth N14.98 million.
Analysts said the market would remain on the cautious slow mode in the meantime as investors await the third quarter earnings of quoted companies. Three companies have so far released their third quarter results out of a total of 144 companies expected to release the nine-month results by the end of this month.
“We expect the market to remain soft, as shown by persistent weak breadth and trading volumes, for the remainder of the week in the absence of more earnings releases,” Lagos-based Afrinvest Securities stated.
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