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Equities reopen with N59b loss October 08, 2019
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After losing N335 billion last week, Nigerian equities reopened on Monday on the same bearish note, losing N59 billion in the four-hour trading session at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Despite increased bargain-hunting for growth stocks, losses suffered by large-cap stocks overshadowed the overall market situation.

Major indices at the NSE indicated average decline of 0.45 per cent yesterday, equivalent to net capital depreciation of N59 billion. This worsened the negative average year-to-date return to -14.25 per cent.

The All Share Index (ASI)- the main value-based index that tracks share prices, declined from its opening index of 26,987.45 points to close at 26,866.41 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also dropped from its opening value of N13.137 trillion to close at N13.078 trillion.

With 16 decliners to 17 advancers, the negative overall market position was driven largely by losses recorded by large-cap stocks across the sectors. All tracked sectoral indices closed negative with the exception of the NSE Industrial Goods Index, which inched up by 0.10 per cent. The NSE Oil and Gas Index dropped by 4.18 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index declined by 1.18 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index dipped by 0.22 per cent while the NSE Banking Index slipped by 0.13 per cent.

Seplat Petroleum Development Company led the losers with a loss of N38 to close at N517. Nestle Nigeria followed with a drop of N25.50 to close at N1,230. Stanbic IBTC Holdings dropped by 95 kobo to close at N37.05. Cadbury Nigeria lost 60 kobo to close at N9.85 while Nigerian Breweries dropped by 35 kobo to close at N50 per share.

On the positive side, UAC of Nigeria led the gainers with a gain of 55 kobo to close at N7.10. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria followed with a gain of 40 kobo to close at N15.20. Africa Prudential rose by 35 kobo to close at N3.87. NASCON Allied Industries added 30 kobo to close at N13.50 while Conoil chalked up 15 kobo to close at N15.40 per share.

Total turnover stood at 151.71 million shares valued at N1.50 billion in 2,854 deals. FCMB was the most traded stock with a turnover of 55.67 million shares. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria followed with 17.2 million shares while FBN Holdings placed third with 14.4 million shares.

Most analysts expected the market to maintain low momentum, although attractive valuations may intermittently spur bargain-hunting.

“We expect the bears to sustain their grip on the market in the absence of a catalyst to boost sentiment,” Afrinvest Securities stated.

Analysts at Cordros Securities however noted that Nigerian equities’ valuations remain attractive driven by price deterioration throughout the year, urging long-term investors to consider appropriately timed investments.

“In our view, the trend witnessed through the year is likely to persist through the final quarter of the year, although we expect pockets of gains over the final months of the year as fund and portfolio managers realign portfolios prior to the start of 2020,” Cordros Securities stated.

By THE PUNCH