•Investors lose N35bn as profit taking ensues

By Nkiruka Nnorom

The stock market opened the week on a negative note yesterday as investors begin to cash in on previous gains recorded in the last five sessions.
Consequently, the market capitalisation of listed equities declined by N38 billion from N9.059 trillion on Friday to N9.021 trillion, representing 0.4 per cent decline. Similarly, the All Share Index, ASI, fell by 0.4 per cent to settle at 26, 217.18 points from 26,328.22 points, thereby worsening the year-to-date loss by 2.4 per cent.
Activity was also weak across the sectors with the exception of the consumer goods sector that recorded very marginal positive returns. Losses sustained in United Bank for Afica, UBA (-2.7 per cent) and Guaranty Trust Bank (-1.7 per cent) dragged the banking sector down by 1.2 per cent.
In the same vein, the insurance and industrial goods sector recorded negative returns of 0.8 per cent and 0.3 per cent on the back of sell offs in Continental Reinsurance, which fell by 4.9 per cent and Dangote Cement Plc that recorded 0.6 per cent price depreciation. The oil & gas Index also closed negative, declining by 0.02 per cent. However, the consumer goods sector propelled by five per cent positive returns on the shares of 7up Bottling Company appreciated marginally by 0.1 per cent.
Analysts at United Capital Plc had said that the equities market would witness a mixture of bargain hunting and profit taking this week.
In their own analysis also, analysts at Vetiva Capital said: “Today’s performance was broadly driven by profit taking after three consecutive days of appreciation in the prior week, hence we expect market performance to remain pressured in subsequent trading sessions.”
Analysis of the price movement table showed that there were 2 losers to a gainer during the day as nine stocks appreciated in price in contrast to 19 that depreciated in price yesterday. 7Up led the gainers advancing by five per cent to close at N113.40, followed by Caverton Offshore Group Plc, which rose by 4.3 per cent to close at N0.72, while Eterna Plc, Forte Oil Plc and FBN Holdings Plc fell by 4.02 per cent, 2.95 per cent and 1.74 per cent to close at N3.62, N74.00 and N3.50 respectively.
On the other hand, Continental Reinsurance led the losers with 4.9 per cent price decline to close at N1.16, followed by Oando Plc, which went down by 4.7 per cent to close at N4.90, while Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Plc fell by 4.1 per cent to close at N0.70 per share.
Activity level also waned as volume and value traded declined 39.6 per cent and 65.5 per cent to 143.5 million units and N755.9 million respectively.

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