The Nigerian equities market fell back to the red zone Thursday as sell pressures on sustained profit-taking by investors dragged the All-Share index lower by 31 basis points to 28,546.22 points.
This had largely been driven too by price depreciation in Dangote Cement (-4.8%), Nigerian Breweries (-7.1%) and BUA Cement (-0.8%), following which investors saw the value of their shares fall by as much as N46.1 billion leading to market capitalisation falling to N14.9 trillion, while the year till date (YTD) return weakened to 6.3 per cent.
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The activity level on the trading floor waned as volume and value traded fell by 31.6 per cent and 48.5 per cent to 569.4 million units and N4.9 billion respectively. The most traded stocks by volume were Eterna plc (112.9 million units), Zenith Bank (74.2 million units) and Access Bank (57.1 millio units) while Zenith Bank (N1.5 billion), GTB (N578.7 million) and Access Bank (N449.2 million) led by value.
Mixed sector performance
Performance across sectors was mixed as 3 of 6 indices under coverage recorded gains. The banking and insurance indices gained the most, up 2.9 per cent and 1.3 per cent, respectively, due to bargain hunting in Guaranty Trust Bank (+3.2%), Zenith Bank (+2.8%) and AXA Mansard Insurance (+7.1%). Trailing, the AFR-ICT index appreciated 1.1 per cent, following buy interest in Airtel Africa (+2.5%).
Conversely, the industrial and consumer goods indices declined 2.7 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively, on the back of sell pressures in Dangote Cement (-4.8%), BUA Cement (-0.8%) and Nigerian Breweries (-7.1%). Likewise, profit-taking in OANDO Plc (-2.6%), CONOIL Plc (-5.6%) and ARDOVA (-2.7%), dragged the oil & gas index lower by 0.5 per cent.
Investor sentiment strengthens
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) rose to 1.5x from the 0.7x recorded in the previous session as 26 stocks gained against 17 decliners. Eterna Plc (+10.0%), Unilever Plc (+9.8%) and Ecobank (+8.5%) gained the most while Deap CAP (-10.0%), Mutual Benefits (-8.7%) and Cornerstone Insurance (-8.3%) led the laggards.
The NSE 30
The NSE 30 index decreased by 0.65 per cent to close at 1,221.89 points, as against 1,229.89 points recorded the previous day. Market turnover closed with a traded volume of 311.35 million units. Unilever and Ecobank were the key gainers, while Nigerian Breweries and Dangote Cement were the key losers.
Frontpage March 16, 2020