Equities close trading in negative territory, lose 0.4% to profit taking 

Kunle Afolabi

Stocks on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) shed 0.4 percent of their value in the first day of trading Monday. The benchmark index contracted closed at 35,361.52 points as against 0.85 percent appreciation recorded Friday. Market year-to-date gain retreated to 31.6 percent.

Consequently, market capitalisation declined by N44.8 billion to settle at 12.2 trillion as against N12.233 trillion recorded Friday. An analyst who spoke to Crucible-NG said that most of the losses were as a result of profit taking activities as the year runs to a close.

The drag in Monday’s performance was majorly on account of losses recorded in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-1.8%), UBA (-3.0%) and WAPCO (-2.9%). Similarly, activity level waned as volume and value traded plunged 44.3 percent and 62.8 percent to 107.1 million units and N1.4 billion respectively.

The industrial goods index led sector decliners with a 1.1 percent decrease owing to profit taking in WAPCO (-2.9%). The consumer goods index trailed with a loss of 0.8 percent as a result of declines in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-1.8%) and NESTLE (-0.4%), while the banking index fell 0.5% due to price deprecation in UBA (-3.0%) and GUARANTY (-0.3%).

On the other hand, an uptick in TOTAL (+2.7%) buoyed the oil & gas index 0.3 percent northward, while the insurance index marginally climbed 0.1 percent on the back of gains in MANSARD (+0.5%).

Market breadth, a measure of investor sentiment, retreated to 1.2x from 1.5x recorded on Friday after 19 stocks advanced against 16 decliners. The top performers were FIDSON (+5.0%), AIRSERVICE (+5.0%) and CUSTODYINS (+4.9%) while the worst performers were SKYEBANK (-3.6%), NEIMETH (-3.2%) and UBA (-3.0%).

Despite the otherwise flip-flop performance of the market in recent weeks, analysts are still betting on the market to rise above the profit-taking sentiments.

They specifically expect performance to turn positive before the end of the week as investors are likely to take position ahead of Q3:2017 company scorecards releases.

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