Equities market declines by N112bn over investors sustained profit-taking

The equities market segment of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday continued on a downward trend as investors’ investment declined by N112 billion on the back of sell-offs in high capitalised stocks.

The All Share Index (ASI) decreased by 229.18 absolute points, representing a dip of 0.84 per cent to close at 27,085.69 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation lost N112 billion to close at N13.185 trillion.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Nestle Nigeria, Beta Glass, Unilever Nigeria, Guinness Nigeria and Dangote Sugar Refinery.

Market breadth closed negative, with 12 gainers versus 18 losers. Niger Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent, to close at 22 kobo, per share. Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals followed with a gain 9.09 per cent to close at 48 kobo, while Caverton Offshore Support Group appreciated by 8.33 per cent to close at N2.60, per share.

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) went up by 8.28 per cent to close at N7.85, while Law Union & Rock appreciated by 7.69 per cent to close at 42 kobo, per share. On the other hand, Nestle Nigeria led the losers’ chart by 9.99 per cent, to close at N1,255.50, per share. Beta Glass followed with a decline of 9.96 per cent to close at N53.80, while Courteville Business Solutions went down by 9.09 to close at 20 kobo, per share.

Unilever Nigeria lost 7.68 per cent to close at N24.65, while United Capital shed 4.31 per cent to close at N2, per share.

The total volume traded declined by 14 per cent to 151.198 million shares, worth N2.52 billion, and traded in 2,895 deals. Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank topped the activity chart with 44.62 million shares valued at N1.24 billion. FBN Holdings followed with 17.38 million shares worth N93.68 million, while Fidelity Bank traded 11.22 million shares valued at N19.06 million.

Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) traded 9.81 million shares valued at N9.98 million, while Access Bank transacted 9.39 million shares worth N69.17 million.

Analysing market performance, the chief operating officer of InvestData consulting Limited, Ambrose Omordion expected the trend to continue due to profit-taking, as bargain hunters take advantage of low stock prices to position ahead quarterly financials now that the NSE index has resisted further decline.

He said that “Discerning investors should latch onto it as a way of averaging down and recouping their investment immediately a recovery stage sets in, helped by economic policies and things start to change gradually.”

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