Equities market halts bullish trend as market cap drops by N144bn

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By Kayode Tokede

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) market capitalization dropped by N144billion on Wednesday after 12 consecutive days of bullish trading.

The market capitalisation lost N144 billion or 0.95 per cent to close at N14.966 trillion against N15.110 trillion achieved on Tuesday.

Consequently, the All-Share Index dipped 275.02 basis points or 0.95 per cent to close at 28,634.35 basis points compared with 28,909.37 basis points recorded on Tuesday.

The NSE 30 index decreased by 1.09 per cent to close at 1,229.89 basis points as against 1,243.50 basis points it closed on Tuesday.

Accordingly, Month-to-Date gain and Year-to-Date gain both moderated to 6.7per cent respectively.

Sectoral performance was broadly negative, following losses in the Banking (-3.3 per cent), Insurance (-2.0 per cent), Industrial Goods (-0.3 per cent) and Consumer Goods (-0.1 per cent) indices. The Oil & Gas (+0.2 per cent) index was the sole gainer of the day.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; MTN Nigeria Communications, Unilever, Zenith Bank, Guinness and Lafarge Africa.

Consequently, the market breadth closed negative with 21 gainers in contrast with 31 losers.

Unilever led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping 9.89 per cent to close at N12.30 per share.

Cornerstone came second with 9.09 per cent to close at 60k, while Ecobank Transnational declined by 8.89 per cent to close at N4.10 per share.

UACN Property dipped 8.14 per cent to close at 79k and Custodian Investment lost 7.21 per cent to close at N5.15 per share.

On the other hand, Berger Paints dominated the gainers’ chart in percentage terms with 9.84 per cent to close at N6.70 per share.

Linkage Assurance garnered 9.76 per cent to close at 45k, while NASCON appreciated by 9.59 per cent to close at N12 per share.

Mutual Benefits Assurance improved by 9.52 per cent to close at 23k, while Chemical And Allied Products rose by 9.36 per cent to close at N18.70 per share.

However, the volume of shares traded increased by 11.13 per cent as investors bought and sold 832.88 million shares valued at N9.54 billion in 9,180 deals.

This was in contrast with 749.47 million shares worth N9.49 billion exchanged in 8,075 deals on Tuesday.

Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 128.79 million shares valued at N789.81 million.

Zenith Bank sold 120.62 million shares worth N2.44 billion, while United Bank for Africa accounted for 83.98 million shares valued at N577.16 million.

Access Bank sold 78.93 million shares worth N603.29 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank traded 76.16 million shares worth N2.41 billion.

“The equities market closed down today on the back of the selloffs recorded 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,” said analysts at InvestmentOne research.

In addition, analysts at FSDH capital said, “We advise investors to accumulate quality stocks at lower levels with a long term investment horizon.”