By Kayode Tokede
Trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) returned to bearish posture on Thursday with investors losing N25.4 billion following profit taking in Dangote Cement and Axa Mansard.
Specifically, the market capitalisation dropped N25.41 billion or 0.12 per cent to close at N21.499 trillion against N21.524 trillion recorded on Wednesday.
Also, the NSE All-Share Index dipped 48.57 basis points or 0.12 per cent to close at 41,099.15 basis points from 41,147.72 basis points recorded on Wednesday.
Accordingly, month-to-date and year-to-date returns moderated to 2.1 per cent.
Sector performances were mixed today with the Consumer Goods (-0.30 per cent) and Banking (-0.23 per cent) sectors closing in the red, while the Industrial (+0.27 per cent) and Oil & Gas (+0.15 per cent) sectors closed positively.
The market loss was driven by price depreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks amongst which are MRS Oil Nigeria, Cadbury Nigeria, Flour Mills, Dangote Cement and Guinness.
Market sentiment closed negative with 50 losers, relative to 14 gainers.
Chams and Prestige Assurance led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, losing 10 per cent each to close at 27k and 54k per share, respectively.
Tourist Company came second with 9.84 per cent to close at N2.84 per share.
MRS Oil Nigeria shed 9.82 per cent to close at N12.40, while AXA Mansard Insurance lost 9.80 per cent to close at N1.38 per share.
Conversely, Multiverse Mining and Exploration, and Northern Nigeria Flour Mills dominated the gainers’ chart in percentage terms with 10 per cent each, to close at 22k and N9.68 per share, respectively.
Champion Breweries trailed with 9.88 per cent to close at N1.78 per share.
NCR Nigeria improved by 9.65 per cent to close at N2.84, while Trans-Nationwide Express appreciated by 9.38 per cent to close at N1.05 per share.
However, the total volume traded rose by 72.61 per cent with 1.12 billion shares worth N6.39 billion traded in 7,404 deals.
This was in contrast with 649.65 million shares valued at N4.61 billion exchanged in 6,296 deals on Wednesday.
Transactions in the shares of Transcorp topped the activity chart with 428.29 million shares worth N559.21 million.
Guaranty Trust Bank followed with 62.06 million shares valued at N2.05 billion, while Sovereign Trust Insurance sold 61.43 million shares worth N20.90 million.
Mutual Benefits Assurance traded 58.54 million shares valued at N31.132 million, while Universal Insurance transacted 38.07 million shares worth N9.81 million.
Analysts at Investment One research said, “The equities market closed down today due to the losses recorded in Consumer Goods and Banking 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.”