Nigerian equities lost N11 billion in the last trading session before the Christmas holidays as investors opened up market orders in last-minute efforts to close their deals ahead of the two-day holiday.
Sell pressure on mid and large-cap stocks weighed on the overall market position, shaving off N11 billion from the overall market value of quoted equities. Benchmark indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated average decline of 1.0 per cent yesterday, depressing the negative average year-to-date return to -16.99 per cent.
The momentum of activities also increased significantly as turnover rose by 71.83 per cent to 324.40 million shares valued at N1.66 billion in 1,993 deals.
The federal government had declared Wednesday December 25 and Thursday December 26, 2019 as public holidays in celebration of Christmas and Boxing Day respectively.
With more decliners than advancers, aggregate market value of all quoted equities dropped from its opening value of N12.607 trillion to close at N12.596 trillion, representing a drop of N11 billion. The All Share Index (ASI)- the common value-based index that tracks all share prices at the Exchange, declined from its opening index of 26,115.80 points to close at 26,090.88 points.
Sectoral indices meanwhile showed a largely positive performance, indicating underlying bargain-hunting for value stocks. The NSE Consumer Goods Index rose by 0.13 per cent. The NSE Oil & Gas Index appreciated by 0.31 per cent. The NSE Banking Index inched up by 0.04 per cent while the NSE Industrial Goods Index closed flat. However, the NSE Insurance Index dropped by 0.71 per cent.
“We expect bearish momentum to persist as investors continue to take a risk-off approach towards the equities market,” Afrinvest Securities stated.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings led the 12-stock losers’ list with a drop of N1.10 to close at N36.40. Dangote Sugar Refinery followed with a drop of 80 kobo to close at N13.65. Guaranty Trust Bank eclined by 35 kobo to close at N29. UAC of Nigeria dropped by 20 kobo to close at N8.10 while Zenith Bank lost 15 kobo to close at N18.15.
On the positive side, Unilever Nigeria led the 10-stock gainers’ list with a gain of N1.95 to close at N22.15. Cadbury Nigeria followed with a gain of 65 kobo to close at N10.25. UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust rose by 35 kobo to close at N3.95. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated added 30 kobo to close at N6.30 while Access Bank chalked up 20 kobo to close at N9.90 per share.