All-Share Index Sheds 0.87% as Market Opens Second Half on Negative Note:
The Nigerian equities market began the second half(H2) of the year on negative note yesterday, with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) declining 0.87 per cent to close at 37,946.92. The market had ended the first half of the year with a marginal growth of 0.09 per cent after sustained profit taking eroded gains earlier recorded in the first quarter of the year.
Although bargain hunting is expected very soon as we enter the earnings season, the bears remained in control on the first trading of the H2. The negative performance stemmed from continuous profit taking in bellwether counters, which made 21 stocks to depreciate while 16 appreciated.
However, Forte Oil Plc led the price losers with 9.7 per cent, trailed by Honeywell Flour Mills Plc with 9.6 per cent, while Cornerstone Insurance Plc shed 8.5 per cent. Daar Communications Plc and Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc went down by 8.3 per cent apiece. McNichols Plc and Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc declined 8.3 per cent each.
On the positive side, AIICO Insurance Plc led the price gainers with 9.8 per cent, followed by C & I Leasing Plc with 9.6 per cent. Unity Bank Plc and Double One Plc advanced by 9.2 each, just as Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc and Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc chalked up 3.5 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively. Oando Plc garnered 3.1 per cent.
“The market remained largely bearish as profit taking activities continued across most sectors in the Nigerian bourse. However, as earnings season has kicked off, we envisage a positive close this week as investors take position ahead of earnings release on counters with dividend expectation,” analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said.
Meanwhile, activity level weakened as volume and value traded dipped 47.9 per cent and 68.2 per cent to 244.5 million shares and N1.9 billion respectively. The most traded stocks by volume were Sterling Bank (100.4 million shares), FBN Holdings Plc (23.7 million shares) and Wema Bank Plc (16.9 million shares) while Dangote Cement Plc (N384.3 million ), FBN Holdings (N251.1 million ) and GTBank (N236.9 million) were the top traded stocks by value
Sector performance was also bearish as four of the five indicators fell. The NSE Oil & Gas Index emerged lone gainer, rising by 0.8 per cent. Conversely, the NSE Industrial Goods Index shed the most, falling 1.0 per cent.