The Nigerian equities market recorded its third straight decline as investor sentiment remained dampened just as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released very disappointing economic data.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) fell 0.26 per cent to close at 27,034.05 while market capitalisation shed N23/8 billion to be at N9.3 trillion. The market has remained bearish in the past three days as investors await details of the flexible foreign exchange policy from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
However, the NBS released economic statistics showing a jump in inflation to 15.6 per cent in the month of May, up from 13.7 per cent in April.
According to the NBS, the upsurge in the headline index in May was due to increase in general price levels across all divisions that contribute to the headline index. Market analysts said the rise in inflation will affect demand for equities.
Yesterday’s decline in the ASI brought the year-to-date loss to 5.61 per cent. The market was dominated by losses by highly capitalised stocks, while the gainers were mostly low capitalised stocks.
Profit-taking activities on banking and consumer good stocks, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc responsible for the decline in the ASI. GlaxosmithklineConsumer Nigeria Plc led the price losers with 9.7 per cent trailed by Unity Bank Plc with 8.8 per cent. FCMB Group shed 5.4 per cent, while Eterna Plc and Transnational Express Plc went down by 5.0 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively.
On the other hand, NEM Insurance Plc led the price gainers with 5.0 per cent, trailed by Continental Insurance Plc with 4.7 per cent, just as Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, A.G Leventis Nigeria Plc added 4.6 per cent and 4.4 per cent in that order.
A.G Leventis two days ago declared a dividend of 10 kobo per share despite a loss for the year ended December 31, 2015.
Meanwhile, two sectoral indices, the NSE Banking Index and NSE Consumer Goods Index declined 1.03 per cent and 0.99 per cent respectively. On the other hand, the NSE Industrial Goods appreciated by 1.20 per cent, while the NSE Insurance Index rose by 0.80 per cent. Similarly, the NSE Oil & Gas Index appreciated by 0.19 per cent.