Nigerian equities reopened after the Christmas break with a tinge of bearishness as profit-taking transactions on many large-cap stocks dragged the overall market position to a net loss of N225 billion.
The two main value-based indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed on the negative, underlining that the decline was due to price depreciation. The All Share Index (ASI) dropped by 1.64 per cent to close at 37,889.57 points. The market capitalisation of all quoted equities declined by N225 billion to close at N13.484 trillion.
The downtrend was due to widespread profit-taking transactions, especially losses recorded by large-cap stocks such as Dangote Cement, Nigerian Breweries, Okomu Oil, Presco and PZ Cussons Nigeria.
There were nearly two losers for every gainer with 14 gainers and 24 losers. Cadbury Nigeria recorded the highest gain, in percentage terms, with 9.91 per cent to close at N15.75 per share. 11, formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria, gained 4.89 per cent to close at N178.31. Fidelity Bank appreciated by 4.62 per cent to close at N2.49 per share. Law Union and Rocks Insurance went up by 4.23 per cent to close at 74 kobo while NEM Insurance appreciated by four per cent to close at N1.56 per share.
On the negative side, Okomu Oil led the losers’ chart by five per cent to close at N67.69 per share. Omoluwabi Micro Finance Bank shed 4.88 per cent to close at 78 kobo. Presco depreciated by 4.86 per cent to close at N68.50 per share. MC Nichols dropped by 4.76 per cent to close at N1.20 while Nigerian Breweries declined by 4.26 per cent to close at N134.04 per share.
The momentum of activities however improved as total volume traded appreciated by 103.9 per cent to 425.96 million shares worth N2.12 billion in 2,937 deals. Transactions in the shares of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria topped the activity chart with 107.1 million shares valued at N154.77 million. Fidelity Bank followed with 94 million shares worth N220.75 million while Skye Bank traded 51.65 million shares valued at N25.82 million.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said they remained optimistic on the outlook for equities.
“Given the significant rise in oil prices in recent times and the broadly bullish outlook for commodity prices for 2018, we maintain our positive short- to medium-term perspective for equities,” Afrinvest Securities stated.