NSE index inches lower as 30 stocks fall

The equities segment of the Nigerian Stock Exchange witnessed a weak bargain on Monday, causing major indicators to close lower.

The NSE All-Share Index, for instance, edged lower by 0.05 per cent or 14.03 per cent to close at 31,427.68 basis points.

Similarly, the market capitalisation of the listed equities declined by 0.05 per cent, or N5bn, to close at N10.772tn.

Both indicators had dipped by 0.17 per cent on Friday, after four straight days of gains, to close at 31,441.71 basis points and N10.777tn, respectively.

Despite Friday’s drop, last week had been positive for equities as the NSE ASI and market capitalisation each rose by 4.18 per cent.

Also, with the exception of NSE Alternative Securities Market Index, which closed unchanged, all other market indices appreciated during the week.

Analysts were, however, skeptical about the sustainability of the gains, an apprehension Monday’s performance seemed to support.

Apart from the ASI and market capitalisation, five indices closed lower on Monday, led by the NSE Consumer Goods Index, which fell by 1.4 per cent to 766.22 basis points.

The NSE Banking Index declined by 1.2 per cent to 321.88 basis points from 325.80 basis points, while the NSE Pension Index dipped by 0.8 per cent to 949.71 basis points.

Also down were the NSE Oil and Gas Index and the NSE 30 Index, which shed 0.5 per cent and 0.34 per cent to close at 346.20 basis points and 1,416.69 basis points, respectively.

Three indices – the NSE Industrial Index, the NSE Lotus Islamic Index and the NSE Insurance Index – rose, while the NSE ASeM Index closed flat at 1,210.13 basis points.

The industrial index was up by one per cent to close at 2,311.71 basis points, the Islamic index gained 0.4 per cent to close at 3,177.69 basis points, while the insurance index edged up by 0.04 per cent to 321.88 basis points.

A total of 146.702 million shares worth N1.437bn were traded in 3,262 deals on Monday.

The most traded stocks were e-Tranzact International Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Transnational Incorporated Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc.

Gainers included Mobil Nigeria Plc and Dangote Cement Plc, which rose by N5 and N4 to close at N165 and N185 per share, respectively.

On the other hand, Forte Oil Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc ended among the losers after shedding N4 and N3.5 to close at N204 and N131.5 per share in that order.

Analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Limited had said ahead of the week that, “Last week’s positive momentum (which was bolstered by news of a new GMD for the NNPC) lost steam in Friday’s session, reinforcing our view that the challenging macroeconomic environment will continue to dominate investor sentiment in the near term. We anticipate sideways trading in the week ahead.”

On their part, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited had also expressed reservations about the sustainability of the recent gains by the naira.

They said, “While recent policies may have resulted in the currency’s resurgence, we are not confident about the sustenance of recent gains.

“Also, we are not confident that instituted policies will materially change perceptions regarding liquidity in the FX market, which is the primary concern of foreign investors. Also, other headwinds remain prevalent, and so we anticipate that this resurgence might be short-lived.”

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