Following losses in 18 stocks, the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) reversed three days’ gains to reopen on a bearish note even as capitalisation fell by N30 billion.
At the close of transactions, yesterday, the all share index (ASI) decreased by 54.42 absolute points, representing a dip of 0.11 per cent to close at 49,991.41 points.
Similarly, the market capitalisation lost N30 billion to close at N26.964 trillion. The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, among which are Lafarge Africa, Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGXGroup), Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA).
United Capital Plc said: “Looking ahead, we expect to see a gradual reduction in activity in the market as the MPC meeting draws nearer. In addition, we expect the impact of the increased benchmark lending rate on equity markets to continue to take effect. Investors are expected to continue cherry-picking stocks with solid underlying fundamentals.”
Analysts Vetiva Dealings and Brokerage said: “As expected, the market started quiet with profit taking in the likes of WAPCO, UBA and STANBIC. We expect another mixed day of trading tomorrow, amid bargain hunting activities across the board.”
Market breadth closed negative as 12 stocks gained while 16 others depreciated. Chams recorded the highest price gain of 7.69 per cent to close at 28 kobo. Flour Mills of Nigeria followed with a gain 4.46 per cent to close at N29.30 kobo while Nigerian Breweries appreciated by 3.72 per cent to close at N48.75 kobo.
Pharma-Deko went up by 2.63 per cent to close at N1.95 kobo while NPF Microfinance Bank appreciated by 2.47 per cent to close at N1.66 kobo.
On the other hand, Associated Bus Company led the losers’ chart by 9.68 per cent to close at 28 kobo. Japaul Gold & Ventures followed with a decline of 9.09 per cent to close at 30 kobo, while NGX Group went down by 4.55 to close at N21.
Lafarge Africa lost 4.2 per cent to close at N23.95, while Cutix shed 3.77 per cent to close at N2.04. Also, the total volume of trades decreased by 16.3 per cent to 200.92 million units, valued at N1.446 billion, and exchanged in 3,976 deals. Transactions in the shares of Sterling Bank topped the activity chart with 90.896 million shares valued at N131.899 million.
Fidelity Bank followed with 11.603 million shares worth N39.742 million, while UBA traded 10.649 million shares valued at N76.76 million.
Guaranty Trust Holding Company traded 9.996 million shares valued at N199.232 million and while Zenith Bank transacted 9.493 million shares worth N203.079 million.