By Peter Egwuatu
The equities market today (Tuesday) recorded the first profit taking after a long streak gain this month leading to a decline in a major performance index as the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE All Share Index declined by 1.2 percent or 118 bases points, bps.
The profit taking led to a loss in blue chip companies such as MTN Nigeria declining by (-2.7 percent) and Dangote Cement (-1.2 percent).
Accordingly, Year to Date, YtD return slumped to 9.1 percent while market capitalisation dipped by N180.8billion to N15.1 trillion. Activity level ended mixed as volume traded surged 91.5 percent to 666.8 million units while value traded declined 23.8 percent to N6.5 billion.
The most active stocks by volume were Union Diagnostic (340.2million units), Zenith Bank (69.7million units) and UBA (38.8million units) while MTN Nigeria (N1.5billion), Zenith Bank (1.5billion ) and Dangote Cement (N848.5million) led by value.
Performance across sectors was bearish as all indices lost. The Insurance and Consumer Goods Indices waned 2.0 percent and 1.7 percent respectively following sell-offs in NEM Insurance which declined by (-9.7 percent ), CHI Plc (-9.5 percent ) and Nigerian Breweries (-8.8 percent).
Losses in MTN Nigeria (-2.7 percent), UBA (-5.2 percent) and Zenith Bank (-1.8 percent) pulled the AFR-ICT and Banking Indices by (-1.6 percent) and (-1.1 percent) respectively.
Also, the Industrial Goods and Oil & Gas Indices declined 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent respectively following price depreciation in Dangote Cement (-1.2 percent ) and Oando (-3.8 percent ).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth waned as 13 stocks gained relative to 23 losers. The best performing stocks were BETA GLAS (9.7 percent), C& I LEASING (8.9 percent ) and Eko Corp (7.2 percent ) while top losers were TOURIST which declined by (-10.0 percent ), NEM Insurance (-9.7 percent ) and Microfinance Bank , NPFMCRFBK (-9.6 percent) Analysts at Afrinvest said : “We anticipate a mixed performance in the interim due to profit taking.”