Transactions on the equity sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) reversed marginal gains recorded previously to close on a downward note yesterday, as most blue-chip stocks depreciated in price, causing the All-share index to plunge by 0.14 per cent.
At the close of transactions yesterday, the All Share Index (ASI) was down by 45.73 absolute points, representing a decrease of 0.14 per cent to close at 32,108.30 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation decreased by N17 billion, closing at N11.722 trillion.
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Lafarge Africa, Presco, Dangote Sugar and Guaranty Trust Bank.
Analysts at Cordros Capital said: “We remain conservative in our outlook for the equities market in the short to medium term, amidst political concerns ahead of the 2019 elections, and the absence of a positive market trigger. However, positive macroeconomic fundamentals remain supportive of recovery in the long term.”
Market breadth closed positive, recorded 18 gainers against 17 losers. Niger insurance recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent, to close at 22 kobo per share. NPF Microfinance Bank followed with a gain of 9.63 per cent to close at N1.48, while Fidson Medical rose 8.89 per cent to close at N4.90 per share.
Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services appreciated by eight per cent to close at 27 kobo, while Lasaco Assurance up by 7.41 per cent to close at 29 kobo per share. On the other hand, Aiico Assurance led the losers’ chart by 9.86 per cent, to close at 64 kobo, per share. Lafarge Africa followed with a decline of 9.77 per cent to close at N15.70, while Mutual Benefit Assurance lost 7.41 per cent to close at 25 kobo per share.
Jaiz Bank shed 6.12 per cent to close at 46 kobo, while NEM Insurance depreciated by 5.34 per cent, to close at N2.48, per share.
However, activity level trended higher as volume and value traded rose 200.8 per cent and 236.4 per cent to 450.1 million and N9.4 billion respectively. Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 288.27 million shares valued at N6.88 billion. FBN Holdings followed with 40.95 million shares worth N303.49 billion, while Guaranty Trust Bank traded 33.74 million shares valued at N1.26 billion.
FCMB Groups traded 11.24 million shares valued at N18.56 million, while Access Bank transacted 9.39 million shares worth N74.14 million.