Stock market erases gains, loses N84.4bn in six hours

The nation’s stock market on Tuesday erased the gains recorded in previous sessions as investors lost N84.4bn in six hours of trading.

The market started trading on a positive note, rising by 0.11 per cent from 32,709.36 basis points at 10:15 am to 32,744.34 bps at 11:07 am, after which the market started to decline gradually.

At 1:13 pm, the market recorded the biggest decline during the day, down by 151.55bps from 32,632.43bps at 1.13pm to 32,480.88bps at 1:17 pm, representing a 0.46 per cent decline in four minutes.

Towards the end of trading at 2:15 pm, the market rose slightly from 32,450.84bps to close at 32,473.82bps, bringing the total decline of the All Share Index for the day to 0.69 per cent.

Despite the positive start to trading, 20 losers led by NPF Microfinance Bank Plc overshadowed the gains recorded in 21 stocks to drag the market capitalisation of equities listed on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange from N12.194tn on Monday to N12.110tn on Tuesday.

The Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Limited, Mr Ambrose Omordion, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the market pullback could be attributed to profit-taking embarked upon by some “smart investors.”

He said the smart money that pushed the market up with expectations that the opposition would win the presidential election were leaving the market.

Omordion added that some investors who entered the market in anticipation that the opposition’s economic policy and reforms would support market growth were taking profits ahead of earnings season.

“This pullback may not last as a result of 2019 dividend declaration season, as the dividend yield of financial service stocks is high and attractive due to low prices,” he stated.

Activity level was mixed as volume traded increased by 46.6 per cent to 322.219 million units while value traded dipped by 56.1 per cent to N2.434bn as the year-to-date return dropped to 3.3 per cent.

The top traded stocks by volume were Access Bank Plc (32.3 million units), Diamond Bank Plc (28.6 million units) and United Bank for Africa Plc (19 million units) while the top traded stocks by value were Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N677.7m), Zenith Bank Plc (N378.1m) and Access Bank (N203.1m).

Performance across sectors was mixed as three out of five sectors closed positively.

The consumer goods and banking indices shed 1.6 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively, on the back of profit-taking in Nestle, GTB and Zenith Bank.

On the flip side, the insurance and oil and gas indices improved by 3.2 per cent and 1.6 per cent, respectively, based on price appreciation in AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc and Oando Plc.

The industrial goods index closed flattish, up by four basis points following gains in Cutix Plc.

Africa Prudential Plc led the gainers’ chart with a 10 per cent gain in the value of its share price, while NPF Microfinance Bank, which led the losers, recorded a 9.70 per cent decline in the value of its share price.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said, “Based on market performance today, we advise cautious trading till the final results of the presidential elections are announced.”
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