By Kayode Tokede
Transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange returned to negative territory on Thursday, following sell pressure on Dangote Cement and 10 other stocks.
Consequently, the All-Share Index declined by 234.08 basis points or 0.60 per cent to 38,697.17 basis points from 38,931.25 basis points on Wednesday.
Accordingly, the month-to-date and year-to-date losses increased to 2.8 per cent and 3.9 per cent, respectively.
Also, the market capitalisation shed N123 billion or 0.60 per cent to close at N20.246 trillion in contrast with N20.369 trillion recorded on Wednesday.
Sector performances were mixed with Industrial (-1.70 per cent) and Oil & Gas (-0.03 per cent) sectors closing in the red, while the Consumer Goods (+0.42 per cent) Banking (+0.01 per cent) sectors closed positively.
The market loss was driven by price depreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which were Dangote Cement, Zenith Bank, United Capital, University Press and United Bank for Africa (UBA).
African Alliance Insurance led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, by 8.33 per cent to close at 22k per share.
Mutual Benefits Assurance and Sovereign Trust Insurance followed with a loss of 7.14 per cent each to close at 36k and 26k per share, respectively.
University Press lost 4.92 per cent to close at N1.16, while Jaiz Bank dropped 4.41 per cent to close at 65k per share.
On the other hand, Smart Products drove the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent to close at 22k per share.
International Breweries followed with a gain of 9.89 per cent to close at N5, while Champion Breweries rose by 9.09 per cent to close at N2.40 per share.
Royal Exchange rose by 8.33 per cent to close at 26k, while Livestock Feeds appreciated by 7.65 per cent to close at N1.83 per share.
Also, the total volume of trades transacted declined by 54 per cent as investors bought 169.35 million shares valued N2.12 billion exchanged in 3,568 deals.
This was against 368.22 million shares worth N4.46 billion traded in 4,437 deals on Wednesday.
Transactions in the shares of AIICO Insurance topped the activity chart with 19.67 million shares valued N23.34 million.
UBA accounted for 16.24 million shares worth N113.24 million, while Zenith Bank sold 11.49 million shares valued N247.42 million.
AXA Mansard Insurance traded 10.47 million shares valued N10.33 million, while Jaiz Bank transacted 9.46 million shares worth N6.06 million.
Analysts at Investment One research stated that, “The equities market closed down today due to the losses recorded in Industrial and Oil & Gas sectors.
“Going forward, we expect investor’s sentiments to be swayed by the search for real positive returns and developments in the interest rate space.
“We reiterate that this may be a great period to pick up some quality names with a medium to long-term investment horizon.”