Investors on Thursday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) traded on a ding-dong of one up one down as investors continued to realign their portfolios ahead of the release of the first quarter results of quoted companies.
With 20 advancers to 23 decliners, losses recorded by large-cap stocks tilted the overall market position to negative with a marginal loss of N13 billion.
The All Share Index (ASI)-the value-based common index that tracks share prices at the Exchange, declined marginally by 0.09 per cent to close at 40,808.48 points as against its opening index of 40,846.24 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also dropped from its opening value of N14.754 trillion to close at N14.741 trillion. Consequently, the average year-to-date return dipped slightly to 6.71 per cent.
The negative overall market position was largely due to losses recorded by some highly capitalised stocks, especially Dangote Cement Plc, NSE’s most capitalised quoted company.
Sectoral analysis showed a widespread underlying bargain-hunting across the sectors. All sectoral indices closed on the upside with the exception of the NSE Consumer Goods Index, which slipped by 0.03 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index and the NSE Oil and Gas Index rose by 0.5 per cent each. The NSE Banking Index rose by 0.03 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index appreciated by 0.1 per cent.
Dangote Cement led the decliners with a drop of N2 to close at N258. Unilever Nigeria followed with a drop of N1.90 to close at N52. UAC of Nigeria declined by 60 kobo to close at N16.90. Forte Oil dropped by 55 kobo to close at N36.95 while Guinness Nigeria declined by 50 kobo to close at N103 per share.
On the positive side, Mobil Oil Nigeria led the advancers with a gain of N8 to close at N200. Stanbic IBTC Holdings appreciated by N1.65 to close at N50. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated rose by 85 kobo to close at N18.40. Nigerian Breweries chalked up 70 kobo to close at N130 while Oando garnered 60 kobo to close at N6.60 per share.
Total turnover slowed down to 205.3 million shares valued at N3.12 billion in 4,237 deals. The three most active stocks were United Bank for Africa with a turnover of 30.2 million shares valued at N328.4 million; Zenith Bank with 28.1 million shares worth N727.9 million and Guaranty Trust Bank, which recorded a turnover of 21.8million shares worth N938.2 million.
Analysts were cautious about the immediate market performance in the days ahead but most analysts agreed on the positive outlook in medium to long term.
“Despite the bearish performance in today (Thursday)’s session, we expect bargain hunting to continue to drive positive market performance in the near term as attractive entry opportunities remain in the market,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
“We expect sentiment to be mixed tomorrow (Friday) albeit with a bearish tilt as investors close their book for the week,” SCM Capital stated.
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