By Peter Egwuatu
The trading of stocks on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE closed lower Wednesday, shedding 1.09 percent to halt uptrend of four consecutive trading days. The dip was aided by sell off in major Consumer Goods sectors, among others. The NSE All Share Index (ASI) was down by 404.95 absolute points, representing a dip of 1.09 percent, closing at 36,612.83 points.
Similarly, the market capitalisation decreased by N146.69 billion, representing a dip of 1.09 percent, closing at N13.26 trillion.
Performance across sectors was mostly bearish as three of five indices trended southwards. The Consumer Goods Index led decliners, down 2.3 percent, as losses in Nestle Nigeria (-5.2 percent) and Nigerian Breweries (-1.9 percent) dragged the index. Similarly, the Banking and Industrial Goods indices fell 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent respectively, as a result of profit taking in Access Bank (-3.0 percent ), UBA(-2.6 percent ), Dangote Cement (-1.3 percent ), CAP (10.0 percent) and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, CCNN (-5.3 percent ).
On the other hand, the Oil & Gas Index rose 0.6 percent, following gains in Total Nigeria (+3.8 percent ) and Conoil (+6.6 percent) whilst the Insurance index closed flat.
Market breadth closed negative, recording 21 gainers against 24 losers. The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; CAP (-10.00 percent), Fidelity Bank (-8.04 percent), Access Bank (-3.00 percent ), UBA (-2.62 percent), NESTLE (-2.50 percent), Diamond Bank (-2.38 percent), Nigerian Breweries, NB (-1.90 percent), Dangote Cement (-1.28 percent ), Dangote Sugar (-1.18 percent ), PZ Industries (-0.66 percent) and Guaranty Trust Bank (-0.37 percent).
On the other hand, the top gainers were Neimeth International Pharmaceutical (+10.0 percent), JAIZ Bank (+8.6 percent ) and Okomu Oil (+8.4 percent) while CAP (-10.0 percent ), Royal Exchange (-10.0 percent ) and International Breweries (-9.7 percent) were the worst performers.
Analysts at Afrinvest Research stated: “Despite the improvement in investors’ sentiment, losses in bellwethers dragged the market. Nonetheless, we expect a rebound in subsequent trading sessions as investors hunt for bargain in existing attractive stocks.”