Ahead of the Eid-El-Kabir celebration, transactions on the equity sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), closed on a downward note yesterday, following price losses suffered by virtually all the blue-chip stocks, as market capitalisation dipped by N220billion.
In line with the Federal Government’s declaration of a two-day public holiday to mark the 2018 celebration, the Exchange will be closed down on August 21 and 22.The All Share Index (ASI) shed 602.81 points, representing a loss of 1.71 per cent to close at 37,992.12 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation declined by N220billion to close at N12.655trillion.
The upward trend recorded on Friday, could not be sustained due to investor’s apathy on the market. More so, the market witnessed more sell pressure ahead of the Muslim festival.
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which were; Nigerian Breweries, Unilever Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, PZ Cussons, and Zenith Bank.
Analysts at United Capital noted that, “given that the second quarter 2018 earnings season is closing out, we expect geopolitical events and policy changes to impact more on global equity indexes.
“However, in the near term, we expect a stronger economic outlook, and double-digit earnings increases to provide support for rising stock prices in the U.S. markets.
“We also expect the market to remain largely downbeat in the local market due to a continued absence of bullish triggers. Also, we expect investors to take profit during early trades ahead of the holiday.”
Market breadth maintained a negative sentiment to close with 11 gainers to 22 losers. Airline Services and Logistics led the gainers table by 8.99 per cent to close at N4.85 per share. FCMB Groups followed with a gain of 5.88 per cent to close at N1.80, while Regency Insurance appreciated by 4.35 per cent to close at 24kobo per share.
Similarly, Skye Bank went up by 4.17 per cent to close at 50kobo and Lasaco Assurance rose by 3.23 per cent to close at 32kobo per share.On the other hand, UAC Property led the laggards’ table by 8.19 per cent to close at N1.57 per share. Honeywell Flour trailed with a loss of 7.59 per cent to close at N1.46, while Japaul Oil and Maritime Services shed 7.14 per cent to close at 26kobo per share.
PZ Cussons dipped 7.12 per cent to close at N13.05, while United Capital went down 6.62 per cent to close at N2.82 per share.Also, total volume traded declined by 41.09 per cent to 220.5 million shares valued at N3.19billion, exchanged in 3,054 deals.
Transactions in the shares of United Bank for Africa (UBA) topped the activity chart with 42.72 million shares valued at N354.78million. Zenith Bank traded 36.66 million shares worth N34.23million, and Access Bank transacted 32.69 million shares valued at N310.43million.Skye Bank followed with 18.32 million shares worth N9.16million, while FBN Holdings traded 15.58 million shares valued at N151.56million.