Equities end bullish streak with N128b loss

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Nigerian equities suffered their first decline in the past four trading sessionson Tuesday as profit-taking transactions moderated the bullish streak at the stock market.

Benchmark indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated average decline of 0.83 per cent yesterday, equivalent to net capital depreciation of N129 billion. The decline moderated the average year-to-date return to 9.76 per cent.

Aggregate market value of all quoted equities dropped from its opening value of N15.304 trillion to close at N15.176 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the benchmark index that tracks share prices, declined from its opening index of 29,710.56 points to close at 29,462.76 points.

With 16 decliners to 15 advancers, the negative overall market position was mainly due to profit-taking transactions on large-cap stocks in the influential banking and industrial goods sectors. The NSE Banking Index declined by 3.58 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods dipped by 0.45 per cent. Meanwhile, the NSE Consumer Goods Index appreciated by 0.34 per cent. The NSE Oil and Gas Index rose by 0.29 per cent while the NSE Insurance grew by 0.70 per cent.

Nigeria’s largest quoted company, Dangote Cement led the losers’ with a drop of N2 to close at N173. Guaranty Trust Bank, Nigeria’s largest financial institution, followed with a drop of N1.80 to close at N32.20. Access Bank declined by 70 kobo to close at N10.05. BUA Cement dropped by 55 kobo to close at N36.45 while Zenith Bank slipped by 40 kobo to close at N22.35 per share.

On the positive side, Lafarge Africa led the gainers with a gain of N1 to close at N17.35. Nigerian Breweries followed with a gain of 90 kobo to close at N52. MTN Communications Nigeria added 20 kobo to close at N128.50.

Total turnover stood at 272.84 million shares valued at N3.71 billion in 4,945 deals. Zenith Bank was the most active stock with a turnover of 57.81 million shares valued at N1.31 billion.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities said they expected the performance in the market to remain mixed in the near term, although there are still opportunities for bargain hunting.