A scramble to take profits on recent steep and sustained gains by several equities and concerns over the possible decisions of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) weighed down quoted equities on Monday.
After five week-on-week rally, the Nigerian stock market opened on Monday to a flood of profit-taking transactions as the MPC also began its two-day meeting, which decisions are expected to be announced on Tuesday.
With two decliners to every advancer, the equities market recorded a net loss of N34 billion, representing average day-on-day decline of 0.4 per cent. Aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted equities dropped from N9.313 trillion to close at N9.279 trillion.
The All Share Index (ASI)-the common value-based index that tracks prices of all quoted equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), declined from 27,116.45 points to close at 27,015.97 points.
Market analysts attributed the decline to profit-taking, citing the rush by investors to take accrued capital gains, which in several instances ran into double digits.
Sectoral analysis showed a generally negative market with losses across the sectors. The NSE Banking Index indicated a loss of 2.1 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index dropped by 1.0 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index depreciated by 0.8 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index slipped by 0.4 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index closed flat.
Nestle Nigeria, NSE’s highest-priced stock, led the losers with a loss of N2.50 to close at N730. PZ Cussons Nigeria
followed with a loss of N1.14 to close at N21.81. Zenith Bank fell by 78 kobo to close at N15.17. Nigerian Breweries dropped by 70 kobo to close at N125.30 while Union Dicon Salt declined by 65 kobo to close at N12.52 per share.
Turnover also slowed down considerably as volume and value of activities dropped by 43 per cent and 47 per cent to 316.5 million shares valued at N1.9 billion. The most active stock was United Bank for Africa (UBA) with a turnover of 58.54 million shares valued at N252.42 million. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria followed with a turnover of 37.41 million shares worth N44.41 million while Zenith Bank recorded a turnover of 35.37 million shares valued at N539.72 million.
“The market performance today was broadly driven by profit taking by investors and this trend is expected to persist as investors await the outcome from deliberations at the ongoing MPC meeting,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
On the positive side, Stanbic IBTC Holdings led the gainers with a gain of N1.53 to close at N16.54. UAC of Nigeria followed with a gain of 69 kobo to close at N19.50. Dangote Sugar Refinery rose by 30 kobo to close at N6.60.
Nigerian Aviation Handling Company added 20 kobo to close at N4.56 while Fidson Healthcare rose by 10 kobo to close at N2.10 per share.
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