Equities suffer marginal relapse

Nigerian equities suffered a relapse on Thursday as a sell-off on Nigeria’s most capitalised company, Dangote Cement, dragged the market to a marginal loss of N7 billion.

While there were 25 advancers against 20 decliners, the losses recorded by high-cap stocks overshadowed the overall market position.

Benchmark indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed a marginal average day-on-day decline of 0.05 per cent, representing a net capital depreciation of N7 billion. This depressed the average year-to-date return to 30.94 per cent.

The All Share Index (ASI)-the common value-based index that tracks prices at the Exchange, dropped from its opening index of 35,207.89 points to close at 35,188.97 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also declined from N12.137 trillion to close at N12.130 trillion.

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Most sectoral indices however closed on the positive side, underlining the widespread bargain-hunting across the sectors. The NSE Consumer Goods Index rose by 1.3 per cent. The NSE Banking Index and NSE Insurance Index appreciated by 0.2 per cent each. On the other hand, the NSE Oil & Gas Index declined by 0.7 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index slipped by 0.5 per cent.

Total Nigeria led the losers with a drop of N6 to close at N225. Dangote Cement followed with a loss of N3.39 to close at N210. Okomu Oil Palm dropped by N3.29 to close at N63.21. Flour Mills of Nigeria lost 45 kobo to close at N26.55 while Custodian and Allied dipped by 14 kobo to close at N3.46.

On the positive side, Nigerian Breweries led the gainers with a gain of N5 to close at N173. Guinness Nigeria rose by N2.48 to close at N99.28. Lafarge Africa chalked up 38 kobo to close at N49.48. Guaranty Trust Bank added 25 kobo to close at N38.95 while FBN Holdings rose by 22 kobo to close at N5.37 per share.

The momentum of activities at the Exchange picked up considerably with total turnover rising above average to 429.22 million shares valued at N8.68 billion in 3,271 deals. Banking stocks dominated activities chart. Guaranty Trust Bank was the most active with 171.82 million shares valued at N6.7 billion. Access Bank followed with 39.79 million shares worth N386.03 million while Jaiz Bank recorded 39.21 million shares valued at N26.63 million.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities stated that the preponderance of advancers to decliners “suggests a hunt for bargains by investors. Hence, we expect the market to close the week in the green”.


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