By Nkiruka Nnorom

Losses in heavy capitalised stocks weighed on the equities market, yesterday, leading to N154 billion losses to investors. Specifically, the equities market capitalisation went down to N  14.464 trillion from N14.618 trillion on Friday, indicating 1.05 percent decline.

Also, the All Share Index (ASI) depreciated by 1.05 percent following losses on the shares of Nestle Nigeria Plc, which fell by 10 percent and MTN Communication Nigeria Plc that declined by 1.17 percent.

Investment analysts and securities dealers had said that the  trend witnessed last week where the market declined by 2.7 percent would likely to persist this week owing to the dual impacts of the weakening sentiment and mixed earnings performances during earnings season.

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According to analysts at United capital Plc,  the market would remain half-hearted as seen in the past few weeks as earnings reports failed to sway investors. Analysts at Cowry Asset Management had also projected that the local equities market would close slightly lower a result of rebound in Treasury Bills (T-bills) stop rates, which was partly induced by the increase in Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by 500 basis points to 27.50 percent.

Sectorial analysis showed that three of the five sectors closed lower, led by the consumer goods sector, which went down by 4.75 percent. The oil & gas and the banking sector followed, dropping by 0.55 percent and 0.54 percent respectively.

However, the insurance and industrial goods sectors recorded price gains, rising by 0.86 percent and 0.76 percent respectively. The total volume of trades declined by 34.14 percent to 200.16 million units valued at N1.92 billion, exchanged in 3,487 deals.

FBN Holdings Plc emerged the most traded stock by volume at 35.91 million units while MTN was the most traded stock by value at N462.3 million, respectively.



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