Stock market reopens with N51 billion loss

Nigeria Exchange Limited (NGX) reopened on a downward note yesterday, shedding N51 billion, amid price depreciation in many blue-chip stocks.

At the close of transactions yesterday, the market capitalisation of listed equities declined by 0.09 per cent to N55.81 trillion from N55.861 trillion reported the previous day.

The All Share Index, which measures the performance of listed equities, also depreciated by 93.09 basis points to 101995.21 from 102088.3 points reported the previous day.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are Nestle Nigeria, Presco, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Eterna and Fidson Healthcare.

Analysts at United Capital Plc said: “We anticipate the bearish sentiments amongst investors to persist in the local equities market given the recent developments in the fixed-income market. The impact of the high yields in the fixed-income market will continue to drive sell-offs as investors switch their asset classes to less risky assets.

“Other headwinds to the equities market are the uncertainties surrounding interest rate decision and the possible ‘HIKE’ in Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at their meeting scheduled for the 26th and 27th February 2024.”

As measured by market breadth, market sentiment was positive as 28 stocks gained relative to 25 losers.

On what will shape the market in the next trading session, analysts at Vetiva Dealings and Brokerage said: “Sectors traded mixed today, as investors remain cautious in the market. We expect a similar quiet open, as the market awaits the outcome of the MPC meeting.”

On the price movement chart, National Salt Company of Nigeria led the gainers table with 10 per cent to close at N66 while Juli Pharmaceutical followed with a gain of 9.83 per cent to close at N2.57 kobo. FBNHoldings added 9.68 per cent to close at N34, Wapic Insurance increased by 8.96 per cent to close at N0.73 per share, Daar Communication also rose by 8.86 per cent to close at 66 kobo.

On the contrary, Nestles Nigeria Plc recorded the highest loss, dropping by 10 per cent to close at N990. Eterna Plc trailed with a loss of 9.97 per cent to close at N15.80 kobo, Fidson Nigeria Plc dipped by 9.82 per cent to close at N15.15 kobo, CWG was down by 9.56 per cent to close at N6.15 kobo. SUNU Assurance also fell by 9.09 per cent to close at N1.90 kobo.

Volume of activities increased by 3.316 million, representing 1.14 per cent as investors traded 294.324 million shares valued at N6.722 billion in 9957 deals against 291.008 million shares cost N6.019 billion exchanged hands the previous day in 7710 deals.

Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings PLC led market activities with 73.835 million shares valued at N2.415 billion.

United Bank for Africa followed with an account of 20.669 million shares worth N493.05 million Zenith Bank exchanged 20.624 million shares valued at N731.405 million.

Fidelity Bank traded 19.981 million shares worth N205.396 million, Veritas Kapital exchanged 12.32 million shares for N8.964 million.

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