By Peter Egwuatu
The equities market on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE resumed trading today( Monday) in the red as losses in some blue chip companies significantly impacted on the market bench mark index ,All Share Index, ASI to close lower by 0.3 percent.
Specifically, Zenith Bank dropped by -2.3 percent, First Bank Nigeria Holding, FBNH – 4.1 percent and Unilever Nigeria -10.0 percent to drive the ASI lower to 29,552.99 points.
Consequently, Year to Date, YtD return moderated to 10.1 percent while market capitalisation fell by N39.1billion to N15.2trillion.
On the other hand, activity level was mixed as volume traded rose 140.6 percent to 444.0milion units while value traded declined 9.8 percent to N3.3billion. The top traded stocks by volume were Veritas kapital (225.6million units), Zenith Bank (45.4million units) and Guaranty Trust Bank (26.7million units) while the top traded stocks by value were Zenith Bank (N988.9million), Guaranty Trust Bank (N856.2 million) and Nestle Nigeria (N160.1million ).
Meanwhile, performance across sectors was mixed albeit positively skewed as three indices gained except the Oil & Gas and AFR-ICT indices which remained unchanged. The Insurance index (0.5 percnt) led the gainers chart, anchored by price appreciation in Linkage Assurance (8.3 percent) and Lasaco Assurance (3.9 percent).
Similarly, the Consumer (0.2 percent) and Industrial Goods (0.1 percent) indices trailed, following buying interest in Nigerian Breweries (3.9 percent), Vitafoam Nigeria (6.0 percent) and WAPCO (0.6 percent).
On the contrary, the Banking index lost as sell-pressures in Zenith Bank (-2.3 percent) and Access Bank (-2.4 percent) dragged the index down by 1.2 percent.
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth improved as 14 stocks advanced relative to 13 decliners. The best performers were NAHCO (9.8 percent), NPF Microfinance Bank (9.7 percent) and NEIMETH (8.5 percent) while Unilever Nigeria (-10.0 percent), Eterna (-9.5 percent) and Royal Exchange (-9.1 percent) led the laggards.
Reacting on the market activities, analysts at Afrinvest Research said : “We anticipate a positive trading week but we could see pockets of profit-taking activities in some sessions.”