Saturday, February 24Inside Business Africa

Bellwethers pull index further by N31 billion

The Nigerian equities market sustained bearish performance yesterday, as virtually all the bellwethers recorded price depreciation, resulting in a further decline in market capitalisation by N31billion.

Precisely, the All-Share Index (ASI) decreased by 58.72 absolute points, representing a dip of 0.22 per cent to close at 26,974.38 points. Similarly, the overall market capitalisation lost N31billion to close at N14.052trillion

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large value stocks, amongst which were; MTN Nigeria, Vitafoam Nigeria, Red Star Express, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), and University Press.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited, said: “We anticipate a bearish outing tomorrow, despite opportunities for bargain hunting and dividend gain.”

The Chief Research Officer, Investdata Consulting Limited, Ambrose Omodion, said: “We expect the losing momentum to moderate on dividend news and resist further decline as more audited earnings hit the market any moment from now.

“This is despite the likely continuation of the mixed intraday movement in the midst of profit-taking, with investors buying increasing positions in high dividend-paying stocks ahead of dividend declaration.

“This is also against the backdrop that the capital wave in the financial market may persist in the midst of relatively low-interest rates in the money market, high inflation, and unstable economic outlook for 2020.”

Further breakdown of Wednesday’s transactions showed that market breadth closed negative, with 11 gainers versus 16 losers. Honeywell Flour Mill recorded the highest price gain of 9.38 per cent to close at N1.05 per share.

FCMB Groups followed with 6.29 per cent to close at N1.86, while EkoCorp Plc rose 5.77 per cent to close N5.50, per share.

United Bank for Africa (UBA) edged 4.38 per cent to close at N7.15, and Lasaco Assurance 4.17 per cent to close at 25 kobo, per share.

On the other hand, Red Star Express and Vitafoam Nigeria led the losers’ chart by 9.98 per cent, each, to close at N3.61 and N4.06, respectively, while University Press followed with 9.60 per cent to close at N1.13, per share.

Consolidated Hallmark Insurance fell 9.38 to close at 29kobo, while Jaiz Bank shed 8.62 per cent to close at 53kobo, per share.

Also, the total volume of trade lost 5.52 per cent to 228.38 million units, valued at N2.74billion exchanged in 3,831 deals.
Transactions in the shares of UBA topped the activity chart with 81.12 million shares valued at N548.899million.Zenith Bank followed with 31.009 million shares worth N590.32million, and Access Bank traded 22.34 million shares at N201.05million.

Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) traded 12.46 million shares valued at N11.24million, while United Capital transacted 11.45 million shares worth N37.92million.

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