By Kayode Tokede
Investors were taking profit on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday, leading to the All-Share Index dropping further by 0.31 per cent.
Profit taking continued today in the domestic equities market, with Dangote Cement Plc dropping by 4.8per cent weighing down the bourse.
Specifically, the All-Share Index dropped further by 88.12 basis points or 0.31 per cent to close at 28,546.22 basis from 28,634.35 basis points it closed on Wednesday.
In the same vein, the market capitalisation dipped N46 billion or 0.31 per cent to close at N14.920 trillion, compared with N14.966 trillion on Wednesday.
Accordingly, the Month-to-Date and Year-to-Date gain both moderated to +6.4per cent.
Sector performances were negative today as the Industrial (-2.72 per cent), Consumer Goods (-1.30 per cent) and Oil & Gas (-0.53 per cent) sectors all closed in the red, while the Banking sector(+2.88 per cent) was the lone gainer.
The downtrend was impacted by losses recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries, Conoil, BUA Cement and Ardova.
Deap Capital Management and Trust led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, losing 10 per cent to close at 27k per share.
Mutual Benefits Assurance lost 8.70 per cent to close at 21k, while Cornerstone Insurance shed 8.33 per cent to close at 55k per share.
Nigerian Breweries lost 7.07 per cent to close at N48.60, while Conoil shed 5.57 per cent to close at N14.40 per share.
On the other hand, Eterna topped the gainers’ table in percentage, appreciating by 10 per cent to close at N3.30 per share.
Unilever garnered 9.76 per cent to close at N13.50, while Ecobank Transnational rose by 8.57 per cent to close at N4.45 per share.
AXA Mansard gained 7.18 per cent to close at N1.94, while C& I Leasing rose by 5.95 per cent to close at N4.45 per share.
Transactions in the shares of Eterna topped the activity chart with 112.89 million shares valued at N372.53 million.
Zenith Bank traded 74.23 million shares worth N1.51 billion, while Access Bank sold 57.06 million shares valued at N449.16 million.
FBN Holdings traded 44.40 million shares worth N280.99 million, while Fidelity Bank transacted 31.84 million shares valued at N66.66 million.
In all, the volume of shares traded closed lower as investors exchanged 569.38 million shares worth N4.91 billion in 6,101 deals.
This was against a turnover of 832.88 million shares valued at N9.54 billion accounted in 9,180 deals on Wednesday.
“The equities market closed down today on the back of profit taking in most sectors.
“Going forward, we expect investor’s sentiments to be swayed by the search for real positive returns amidst a low interest rate environment. Nonetheless, we reiterate that this may be a great period to pick up some quality names with a medium to long term investment horizon,” analysts at Investmentone research explained.