Banking stocks extend equities’ decline

Benjamin Okorie
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Taofik Salako, Capital Market Editor


NIGERIAN equities witnessed considerable resurgence on Wednesday but losses recorded by highly influential banking sector coloured the overall market position, extending the decline at the stock market to its third consecutive trading session.

With more advancers than decliners, most sectoral indices closed on the upside as bargain-hunters returned to several low and mid-cap stocks. However, selloffs banking stocks overshadowed the market and dragged the market to a marginal decline of N3 billion.

Average decline yesterday stood at 0.02 per cent, nudging the average year-to-date return to -14.29 per cent. The All Share Index (ASI)- the benchmark index for the Nigerian equities market, dipped to 26,938.58 points as against its opening index of 26,944.32 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also declined from its opening value of N13.005 trillion to close at N13.002 trillion.

With 16 gainers to 13 losers, the decline was mainly due to losses in the banking sector. The NSE Banking Index declined by 0.45 per cent while the NSE Oil and Gas Index dropped by 0.24 per cent. Meanwhile, most sectoral indices closed positive.

The NSE Insurance Index appreciated by 0.77 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index rose by 0.34 per cent while the NSE Consumer Goods Index increased by 0.15 per cent. Sterling Bank led the losers with a drop of 13 kobo to close at N1.92. United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank followed with a loss of 10 kobo each to close at N6.95 and N18.70 while Oando dropped by 8.0 kobo to close at N3.62 per share.

The momentum of activities also slowed down considerably as turnover dropped by 40.3 per cent to 112.89 million shares valued at N1.08 billion in 3,041 deals. Zenith Bank was the most active stock with a turnover of 15.86 million shares worth N296.86 million. On the positive side, Unilever Nigeria led the gainers with a gain of 45 kobo to close at N18.90. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria rose by 20 kobo to close at N19.20 while May & Baker Nigeria chalked up 19 kobo to close at N2.14 per share.

"Despite strong investors' sentiment due to renewed interest in the local bourse, we expect profit taking activities to persist following four consecutive weeks of price appreciation," Afrinvest Securities stated.



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