The running profit-taking trend that started this week at the Nigerian stock market widened on Tuesday, depressing the overall market performance for the second consecutive trading session. Benchmark indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated a day-on-day decline of 0.28 per cent, equivalent to a net capital loss of N29 billion on Tuesday, more than a double of the N14 billion lost at the onset of the profit-taking on Monday.
Highly capitalised stocks in the consumer goods, oil and gas, industrial goods and banking sectors headlined the decline as investors sought to monetise gains recorded in the previous week. Notwithstanding the negative overall market position, the market however continued to witnessed considerable bargain-hunting. There were 31 gainers against 28 losers on Tuesday.
The All Share Index (ASI)-the main index at the Exchange, declined from its opening index of 33,235.28 points to close at 33,141.85 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also dropped from N11.490 trillion to close at N11.461 trillion. The average year-to-date return was moderated to 23.32 per cent.
All sectoral indices closed on the downside, underlining the widespread sell pressure. The NSE Oil & Gas Index declined by 2.0per cent. The NSE Banking Index dipped by 0.7 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index dropped by 0.6 per cent the NSE Insurance Index and NSE Industrial Goods Index slipped by 0.1 per cent each.
Nestle Nigeria, the highest-priced stock at the Exchange, led the losers with a loss of N24 to close at N900. Mobil Oil Nigeria lost N9.35 to close at N276.51. Seplat Petroleum Development Company dropped by N6.38 to close at N460.01. Forte Oil declined by N6.14 to close at N58. Conoil lost N1.50 to close at N38. Cadbury Nigeria dropped by N1.23 to close at N14.40. PZ Cussons Nigeria declined by N1 to close at N23. Access Bank dipped by 40 kobo to close at N10.36. Dangote Cement lost 31 kobo to close at N205.05 while Union Bank of Nigeria declined by 21 kobo to close at N5.85 per share.
Total turnover was below average with the exchange of 410.22 million shares valued at N5.55 billion in 6,167 deals. Zenith Bank was the most active stock with 62.30 million shares valued at N1.29 billion. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria followed with 49.2 million shares worth N89.4 million while UAC of Nigeria placed third with 41.46 million shares valued at N59.03 million.
On the other hand, Total Nigeria led the contrarian stocks with a gain of N11.55 to close at N282.55. Seven-Up Bottling Company followed with a gain of N4.50 to close at N94.50. Presco rose by N3.65 to close at N66.15. Unilever Nigeria added N1.45 to close at N37 while UAC of Nigeria chalked up 60 kobo to close at N18 per share.
“We maintain our view that the current downtrend in the market would not persist beyond the short term as we expect investor sentiment to remain largely driven by improvements in macroeconomic fundamentals and developments in the foreign exchange market,” Afrinvest Securities-a Lagos-based dealer at the Exchange, stated.