By Peter Egwuatu
Profit taking by investors on Tuesday dragged down equities trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE as major market index, All Share Index declined by 0.8 percent or 83 bases points, bps.
The selloffs in Guaranty Trust Bank (-5.3 percent ), Dangote Cement (-1.1 percent ) and Access Bank (-6.5 percent ) ended the successive gains in the equities market as the All-Share Index slipped by 0.8 percent to close at 29,462.76 points.
Consequently, Year to Date, YtD return fell to 9.8 percent while market capitalisation declined N127.6billion to N15.2trillion.
Activity level was mixed as volume traded rose 2.2 percent to 272.8million units while value traded fell 11.9 percent to N3.7billion.
Zenith Bank (57.8 million units), Access Bank (33.0millin units) and UBA (22.4million units) led the most traded stocks by volume while Zenith Bank (N1.3billion), Dangote Cement (N414.0million) and MTN Nigeria (N351.2 million) led by value.
However, in spite of sell-offs, sector performance remained bullish as four sectors indices gained. The Insurance (0.7 percent) and Consumer Goods (0.3 percent) Indices led gainers, riding on the back of price appreciation in MANSARD Insurance (1.4 percent), LAW UNION Insurance (9.1 percent), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (1.8 percent) and Honeywell Flour Mills (4.9 percent).
Similarly, gains were recorded in the Oil & Gas (0.3 percent) and AFR-ICT (0.1 percent) Indices, due to buying interest in Oando (2.3 percent) and MTN Nigeria (0.2 percent).
Conversely, price declines in Guaranty Trust Bank (-5.3 percent), Access Bank (-6.5 percent), Zenith Bank (-1.8 percent) and Dangote Cement (-1.1 percent) drove the Banking (-3.6 percent) and Industrial Goods (-0.5 percent) Indices southward.
Investor sentiment as measured by market shows that 15 stocks advanced against 16 decliners. Law Union (9.1 percent), Unity Bank (6.2 percent) and WAPCO (6.1 percent) topped the gainers while ARBICO (-10.0 percent), ETERNA (-9.7 percent) and CHAMPION Breweries (-7.1 percent) led the losers.
Reacting analysts at Afrinvest Research said: “We expect performance in the market to remain mixed in the near term. However, there are still opportunities for bargain hunting.”