By Kayode Tokede
The equities market of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) started the week southwards as the market capitalization dropped by N12.22billion, ending the five days bullish streak.
Accordingly, market capitalisation went down to N13.346 trillion from N13.358trillion it opened for trading on Monday.
The All Share Index (ASI) shed 23.41 basis points or 0.09 per cent to 25,582.23 basis points.
Across sectors, the Insurance (+0.7 per cent) and Oil & Gas (+0.2 per cent) indices recorded gains, while the Banking (-0.7 per cent) and Consumer Goods (-0.4 per cent) indices recorded losses. The Industrial Goods index was flat.
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Guaranty Trust Bank, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Red Star Express, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Zenith Bank.
This week, analysts at United Capital Plc expected to see some profit-taking given the bullish performance seen across the board last week.
It also said that the resumption of FX sales at the I&E window might provide previously locked-in foreign investors the long-waited opportunity to exit their stakes or limit exposure to Nigerian equities.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited also expected profit-taking to persist in the next trading session.
Market sentiment, as measured by the market breadth, was positive, as 16 stocks gained relative to 15 losers. Eterna recorded the highest price gain of 9.13 per cent to close at N2.27, per share. NEM Insurance followed with a gain 8.70 per cent to close at N2.25, while C&I Leasing rose by 8.33 per cent to close at N3.90, per share.
UACN Property Development Company went up by 7.61 per cent to close at 99 kobo, while Academy Press appreciated by 7.41 per cent to close at 29 kobo, per share. On the other hand, Honeywell Flour Mill led the losers’ chart by 6.25 per cent, to close at 90 kobo, per share. Chams followed with a decline of 4.55 per cent to close at 21 kobo, while Red Star Express declined by 4.37 per cent to close at N3.72, per share.
Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals lost 3.74 per cent to close at N1.80, while Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services shed 3.70 per cent to close at 26 kobo, per share.
Also, the total volume traded decreased by 39.24 per cent to 254.974 million shares, worth N2 billion, and traded in 4,699 deals. Transactions in the shares of UBA topped the activity chart with 44.349 million shares valued at N291.992 million. Zenith Bank followed with 30.821 million shares worth N536.111 million, while Access Bank traded 29.115 million shares valued at N196.625 million.
Custodian Investment traded 19.828 million shares valued at N126.688 million, while FBN Holdings (FBNH) transacted 19.828 million shares worth N98.633 million.
“The equities market closed down today on the back of the losses recorded in the Banking and Consumer Goods sectors.
“While we expect that investor sentiments would largely be driven by reactions to H1 2020 results in the near term, we reiterate that this may be one of the best periods to pick up some quality names with a medium to long term investment horizon,” analysts at InvestmentOne research said.