- Financial Services Stocks Worsen Equities’ Losses
Nigerian equities continued on the downtrend for the second consecutive trading session yesterday at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with nearly three of every four deals closed at discount. Banking and insurance stocks led the decline as investors sought to take profit on large-cap banking stocks.
Benchmark indices at the NSE indicated average decline of 0.06 per cent, equivalent to a marginal loss of N9 billion. The average year-to-date return now stands at -0.73 per cent.
The All Share Index (ASI)-the main value-based index at the Exchange declined from its opening index of 37,988.54 points to close at 37,963.93 points. With nearly three losers to every gainer, aggregate market value of all quoted equities also slipped from N13.761 trillion to close at N13.752 trillion.
Most sectoral indices also closed on the downside, underlining the widespread price depreciation. The NSE Insurance Index declined by 0.8 per cent. The NSE Banking Index dropped by 0.6 per cent while the NSE Consumer Goods Index dipped by 0.2 per cent. However, the NSE Industrial Goods Index rose by 0.9 per cent while the NSE Oil & Gas Index inched up by 0.3 per cent.
There were 35 losers against 12 gainers. Okomu Oil Palm led the losers with a drop of N1.70 to close at N92.50. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria followed with a loss of N1.20 to close at N23.50 while 11, formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria and Seplat Petroleum Development Company lost N1 each to close at N181 and N650 respectively.
On the positive side, Total Nigeria led the gainers with a gain of N7.20 to close at N200.50. Stanbic IBTC Holdings followed with a gain of N1 to close at N50 while Lafarge Africa added 95 kobo to close at N40 per share.
Total turnover stood at 372.24 million shares valued at N3.18 billion in 3,800 deals. Sterling Bank led the activities chart with a turnover of 172.63 million shares valued at N241.03 million. Zenith Bank followed with a turnover of 31.54 million shares valued at N792.74 million while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria placed third with 22.92 million shares valued at N31.98 million.
Most analysts expected the market to continue on the downtrend, although increased bargain-values across the sectors may trigger a modest rally.
“Given the softer investor sentiment, we believe the negative performance will be sustained in tomorrow (Thursday)’s trading session. Nevertheless, we do not rule out the possibility of some bargain hunting in market bellwethers by the end of the week,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
Analysts at SCM Capital stated that they expected “sentiment to remain downbeat in the interim”.