Stock market starts March in loss, sheds N175bn

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The Nigerian stock market recorded a decline of N175bn on the first day of the new month after 31 stocks plummeted.

At the close of trading, the Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation slumped to N15.374tn from N15.549tn.

The NSE All-Share Index fell by 1.1 pe cent to settle at 42,843.38 basis points while the year-to-date return contracted to 12 per cent.

Profit-taking in Dangote Cement Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc contributed largely to the market fall as the stock prices declined respectively by 1.8 per cent, 3.6 per cent and two per cent.

In the same vein, activity level declined as volume and value traded fell by 35 per cent and 54.9 per cent to 371.246 million units and N4.9bn, respectively.

Transnational Incorporated of Nigerian Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and GTBank were the most traded stocks by volume while GTBank, Zenith Bank and Nigerian Breweries were the top-traded stocks by value.

Performance was mixed across sectors as three indices declined while two advanced.

The oil/gas index led gainers, rising by one per cent owing to price appreciation in Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and 11 Plc (Mobil), which gained respectively by 2.2 per cent and 0.1 per cent.

The insurance index followed, appreciating by 0.1 per cent as NEM Insurance Nigeria Plc and Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc gained 2.4 per cent and 3.9 per cent, accordingly.

However, the industrial goods index plummeted by 2.2 per cent as investors took profit in Dangote Cement and Lafarge Africa Plc, which slumped by 1.8 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively.

The banking and consumer goods indices also dropped by 1.1 per cent and 0.7 per cent, respectively, following declines in GTBank, Zenith Bank, Nigerian Breweries and Honeywell Flour Mill Plc by two per cent, 1.3 per cent, 3.6 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively.

Investor sentiment softened compared to Wednesday’s performance as 28 stocks advanced while 31 stocks declined.

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