The world’s most valuable company, Apple loses its top position as number one in the wake of a broad sell-off in technology stocks.
Saudi Arabian oil and gas producer, Aramco unseated the tech company for the first time in two years. Apple dropped by over five percent in New York on Wednesday to end the trading day with a stock market valuation of $2.37tn (£1.94tn).
Also, Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies crashed overnight with Bitcoin plunging to $26,000 a coin for the first time in years. Investors are selling all their holdings in risk assets to curtail the impact of the projected recession and global rout on their portfolios.
Aramco became the world’s most valuable company when Apple’s market value closed at $2.37 trillion on Wednesday, below Aramco’s $2.42 trillion market capitalisation.
The strong position of Saudi Aramco was due to the persistent increase in crude oil price, largely caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine and COVID-19 related cases in China. This is the first time Aramco will overtake Apple as the world’s most valuable company since 2020.
From the year to date, Apple stock has dropped 35.51 points, or 19.51% of its value to $146.50 a unit. Other market report showed that technology-heavy Nasdaq closed 3.2 per cent lower in New York on Wednesday after official data showed that US inflation remained near a more than 40-year high.
As a result of the covid-19 pandemic, rising prices have been the major and biggest threat to the recovery of the global economy.
“Central banks around the world have responded to the problem by raising interest rates, which has triggered a move out of riskier investments over concerns that the higher cost of borrowing will slow down economic growth,”
The move out of what are seen as risky assets also helped to push the price of Bitcoin below $29, 000,” BBC said.
Investors Lose N1.989 Trillion Last Week as Uncertainty Persists
The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) closed in the red last week as uncertainty continues to dictate market direction across the Exchange amid complex president Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s economic reform.
Stock investors exchanged 1.377 billion shares worth N31.584 billion in 42,040 deals last week, against a total of 1.559 billion shares valued at N36.497 billion that exchanged hands in 42,546 deals in the previous week.
During the week, the Financial Services Industry led the activity chart with 960.519 million shares valued at N16.844 billion traded in 19,669 deals. Therefore, contributing 69.77% and 53.33% to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
The Conglomerates Industry followed with 115.241 million shares worth N1.511 billion in 2,859 deals.
The third place was the Oil and Gas Industry, with a turnover of 80.866 million shares worth N1.721
billion in 2,726 deals.
Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Transnational Corporation Plc were the three most traded equities and together accounted for 343.584 million shares worth N9.431 billion in 5,659 deals.
The three contributed a combined 24.96% and 29.86% to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
The NGX All-Share Index depreciated by 3,634.48 index points or 3.44 percent from 105,722.78 index points to 102,088.30 index points while the market capitalization also shed 3.44% or N1.989 trillion to close the week at N55.861 trillion, down from N57.850 trillion recorded in the previous week.
Similarly, all other indices finished lower with the exception of NGX ASem, NGX Consumer Goods and NGX Oil and Gas which appreciated by 11.66%, 2.01% and 0.01% respectively.
Fourteen equities appreciated in price during the week lower than thirty-five equities in the previous week. Sixty-six equities depreciated in price higher than fiftyone in the previous week, while seventy-four equities remained unchanged, higher than sixty-eight recorded in the previous week.
Top 10 Price Gainers
Nigerian Exchange Returns to Red Zone, Equity Investors Lose N67bn
The Nigerian Exchange plunged back into the red zone on Thursday as equity investors incurred N67 billion in losses.
The downward trend was primarily attributed to widespread sell-offs observed across key sectors, including banking, insurance, and consumer goods.
The All-Share Index closed the trading session with a decline of 0.12 percent to settle at 101,239.10 index points while the market capitalization closed lower at N55.40 trillion.
Despite a brief respite earlier in the week, the market failed to sustain its positive momentum.
Year-to-date returns moderated to 35.39 percent, reflecting the volatile nature of recent trading sessions.
Trading activities remained subdued with a 16.43 percent decrease in traded volume to 252.9 million units.
Similarly, total traded value declined by 24.54 percent to N4.94 billion, accompanied by a 15.83 percent dip in total deals to 7,248.
Market breadth leaned towards negativity, with 22 gainers overshadowed by 28 losers.
The decliners included notable companies like Daar Communications, Wema Bank, and PZ Cussons, which collectively contributed to the bearish sentiment prevalent in the banking, insurance, and consumer goods sectors.
Federal Government Falls Short: Raises N1.5tn at February Bond Auction
The Federal Government’s February bond auction fell short of its target as it raised N1.5 trillion instead of the planned N2.5 trillion.
The Debt Management Office (DMO) announced this shortfall in a press release on Tuesday. The auction included bonds maturing in 2031 and 2034, with a combined offering of N2.5 trillion.
Despite the lower-than-expected outcome, the DMO highlighted significant investor interest with total bids reaching N1.9 trillion, the highest recorded in any single FGN Securities Auction.
The 2031 bond received allotments totaling N873.53 billion, while the 2034 bond saw allotments amounting to N621.38 billion, making for a total allotment of N1.495 trillion.
The government’s decision to raise funds through bonds reflects its ongoing efforts to meet financing needs and attract both local and foreign investors.
However, the shortfall indicates a potential mismatch between the government’s funding requirements and investor appetite.
While the auction outcome signifies continued investor confidence in Nigerian securities, it also underscores the importance of closely monitoring government borrowing and fiscal management strategies to ensure sustainable debt levels and investor trust in the market.
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