STOCK MARKET ENDS GAINING STREAK, SHEDS N102BN
The nation’s stock market reversed its gaining streak on Monday on the back of weaker tech, industrial and oil and gas stocks. Sell-offs in the stocks sent the equity benchmarks lower, with losses amounting to N102bn.
The market, which gained N723bn in five consecutive days, saw 14 per cent of the gains wiped off on Monday as the market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange dropped to N11.460tn from N11.562tn on Friday.
The All Share Index declined by 0.88 per cent to settle at 30,732.72 basis points from the 31,005.17 bps recorded on Friday, while the year-to-date return settled at -2.2 per cent. A total of 499.212 million shares valued at N5.531bn exchanged hands in 3,874 deals, while 13 firms gained against the 18 laggards.
Though E-Tranzact International Plc was the biggest loser on Monday, oil and gas stocks led by Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc recorded the biggest drag on the Exchange with a 4.55 per cent decline. Other oil and gas stocks that recorded declines were 11 Plc and Eterna Plc.
Bank stocks led by Unity Bank Plc recorded a 0.14 per cent decline. While Unity Bank saw its share price drop by 4.40 per cent, three other bank stocks ― Wema Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc ― each recorded respective declines of 1.61 per cent, 0.95 per cent and 0.78 per cent. On the flip side, insurance and industrial stocks recorded gains.
The industrial sector gained 0.97 per cent but witnessed sell-offs in its major stocks ― Dangote Cement Plc and Lafarge Africa Plc. Lafarge’s share price dropped by 3.13 per cent, while Dangote’s share price fell by 2.51 per cent.
Despite losses in Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc and Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, the insurance index gained 1.51 per cent. The consumer goods index saw no changes at the end of trading on the floor of the Exchange on Monday.
After the stock market witnessed gains last week, analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Plc said with the conclusion of Nigeria’s elections in February as well as stable oil prices expected during the year, a return of foreign investment to the market was anticipated.
The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema, while briefing stakeholders on the performance of the market in 2018 and his expectations for 2019, said he anticipated volatility in the first half of the year and stability post-elections.
He also highlighted that the swift approval of the 2019 budget would be essential for companies’ earnings and consumer spending, adding that he was expecting an uptick in market activity during the second half of 2019.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said, “We expect Monday’s performance to persist into Tuesday’s trading session, as we maintain our near-term bearish outlook for the domestic equities.”