EQUITIES MARKET OPENS LOWER AS SELL PRESSURES PERSIST
The nation’s equities market opened the week on a bearish note as sell pressures in different sectors dominated the market. The market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange declined by N23.27bn to settle at N11.180tn, while the year-to-date loss weakened to -20 per cent.
The All Share Index shed 21 basis points to settle at 30,609.06 bps due to losses recorded by large-cap stocks such as Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc. The activity level also worsened as volume traded depreciated by 38.4 per cent to close at 214.961 million units, while value traded declined by 24.9 per cent to close at N1.732bn.
The top traded stocks by volume were Diamond Bank Plc (70.984 million units), AXA Mansard Insurance Plc (20.028 million units) and FBN Holdings Plc (16.524 million units), while GTB (N363.4m), Nigerian Breweries Plc (N291.6m) and Unilever Nigeria Plc (N169.4m) were the top traded stocks by value.
Performance across sectors was largely bearish as four sectors closed in the red. The insurance index declined the most, shedding 1.17 per cent as a result of selloffs in Continental Reinsurance Plc and Linkage Assurance Plc.
Similarly, the oil and gas index shed 1.06 per cent on the back of losses recorded by Forte Oil Plc and Oando Plc. The industrial goods index trailed, shedding 0.76 per cent as a result of losses recorded by Lafarge Africa Plc and Cap Plc.
The banking index declined by 0.32 per cent on the back of sell pressures in GTB and FBN Holdings. On the flip side, the consumer goods index emerged the lone gainer, with a marginal gain of 0.02 per cent, which was propelled by gains posted by International Breweries Plc and Dangote Flour Mills Plc.
At the end of trading on Monday, 17 gainers emerged against 20 losers. The top five gainers were Diamond Bank, Access Bank Plc, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, NPF Microfinance Bank Plc and Fidson Healthcare Plc, whose share prices gained 9.47 per cent, 9.40 per cent, 9.24 per cent, 8.51 per cent and 7.61 per cent, respectively.
The top five losers were Forte Oil, Ikeja Hotel Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Linkage Assurance and Cap Plc, which saw their respective share prices depreciate by 9.96 per cent, 9.63 per cent, 8.47 per cent, 8.33 per cent and 6.44 per cent.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said, “We expect the equities market to rebound on account of bargain hunting in stocks with attractive entry prices. “We, however, maintain our overall bearish outlook for the market.”