By Kayode Tokede
Trading activities on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) equities market on Thursday closed on a negative note, to halt two consecutive days of bullish sentiment.
The downturn was due to market watchers’ sell-off sentiment in all major sectors except the insurance sector, as All-Share Index (ASI) declined by 0.15 per cent.
In summary, the All-Share Index (ASI) shed 57.03 absolute points, representing a decrease of 0.15 per cent, to close at 38,911.31 points. Similarly, the overall market capitalisation value lost N30 billion to close at N20.273 trillion.
Its Year-to-Date (YTD) returns currently stands at -3.38 per cent.
The market negative performance was driven by price depreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks which are; Eterna, Lafarge Africa, International Breweries, Honeywell Flour Mills and Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO).
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said, “In the final trading session, we expect profit-taking sentiment to be extended in the absence of any positive catalyst.”
Hence, the market breadth closed negative, recording 17 losers as against 10 gainers. Unity Bank followed with a gain 9.62 per cent to close at 57 kobo, per share. FTN Cocoa Processors followed with a gain of 8.70 per cent to close at 50 kobo and Cornerstone Insurance went up 8.33 per cent to close at 52 kobo, per share.
Chams up by five per cent to close at 21 kobo, while Sovereign Trust Insurance appreciated by 4.17 per cent to close at 25 kobo, per share. On the other hand, Eterna led the losers’ chart by 9.44 per cent to close at N6.52, per share. SCOA Nigeria followed with a decline of 9.40 per cent to close at N1.06, while International Breweries lost four per cent to close at N4.80, per share.
Honeywell Flour Mills declined 3.93 per cent to close at N3.91, while Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) shed three per cent to close at N4.85, per share.
The total volume of trades fell by 7.9 per cent to 130.203 million units, valued at N1.428 billion, and exchanged in 2,962 deals. Transactions in the shares of Access Bank topped the activity chart with 24.776 million shares valued at N230.255 million. Universal Insurance followed with 15.266 million shares worth N3.053 million, while Zenith Bank traded 8.491 million shares valued at N200.665 million.
GTCO traded 6.754 million shares valued at N182.784 million, while Japaul Gold and Ventures transacted 5.985 million shares worth N2.993 million.