Indices Remain Flat, Shed ₦121 Billion in Bearish Trading

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) witnessed another volatile session, extending the bearish sentiment to the fifth consecutive day of pullbacks, as market capitalization slumped further by ₦121 billion.

Yesterday, the All Share Index (ASI) declined by 323.30 absolute points, representing a decrease of 1.02 per cent to close at 31,313.36 points. Similarly, market capitalization shed ₦121 billion to close at ₦11.677 trillion.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in the bellwethers among which were; Mobil Nigeria, International Breweries, Guaranty Trust Bank, NASCON Allied Industries, and Dangote Cement.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said that “despite the consecutive negative performance recorded, we expect investor bargain hunting to drive market performance over the near term.”

The Chief Research Office at Investdata Consulting, Ambrose Omodion, said: “The prevailing negative sentiments over the weeks were supported by few happenings such as the missed forecast of the presidential poll winner. There is also low liquidity in the equity market, and the seeming lack of direction with the government yet to roll out its economic policy and reforms, which would propel growth and development, while attracting smart money and local investors. This is because major factors driving the nation’s stock market depend on foreign investors entering and exiting.”

Market breadth closed negative, with eight gainers versus 30 losers. Law Union and Rock Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 7.69 per cent to close at 56 kobo per share. UACN Property Development Company gained 7.14 per cent to close at ₦1.96 per share.

United Capital appreciated by 4.13 per cent to close at ₦3.28 per share. Lafarge Africa appreciated by four per cent to close at ₦13, while Aiico Insurance gained 2.82 per cent to close at 73 kobo, per share.

On the other hand, International Breweries led the losers’ chart with 9.93 per cent to close at ₦24.05 per share. UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust followed with a decline 9.92 per cent to close at ₦5.40, while AG Leventis & Company fell 8.82 per cent to close at 31 kobo, per share.

Jaiz Bank lost 8.62 per cent to close at 53 kobo, while Linkage Assurance dropped 7.94 per cent to close at 58 kobo, per share.

However, total volume traded rose by 70.85 per cent to 219.37 million shares, worth ₦2.93 billion, traded in 3,345 deals. Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 60.14 million shares valued at ₦493.12 million.
Zenith Bank followed with 46.46 million shares worth ₦1.05 billion, while Diamond Bank traded 14.47 million shares valued at ₦35.32 million.

Access Bank traded 11.45 million shares valued at ₦68.46 million, while United Bank for Africa (UBA) transacted 8.53 million shares worth ₦64.66 million.

By Helen Oji

The Guardian Newspaper March 13th, 2019

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