The Nigerian equities market maintained a negative close yesterday driven by highly capitalised Dangote Cement Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) declined by 0.66 per cent to close at 27,044.36. But for the losses by Dangote Cement, the market would have closed in the positive territory. Specifically, excluding Dangote Cement, the ASI would have ended 0.17 per cent higher.
However, the decline of 1.47 per cent decline in Dangote Cement drove the market to close lower. Also, Nigerian Breweries Plc fell by 1.48 per cent. Similarly, market capitalisation shed N61.4 billion to be at N9.3 trillion. Other highly capitalised stocks that depreciated included: Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Nestle Nigeria Plc.
In all 21 stocks depreciated compared to 18 that appreciated. Ashaka Cement Plc led the losers’ table with 9.7 per cent, followed by NASCON Allied Industries Plc and University Press Plc went down by 4.8 per cent apiece.
On the positive side, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc led the price gainers with 7.8 per cent to close at N1.23 per share. May & Baker Nigeria Plc trailed with 4.7 per cent, while Learn Africa Plc chalked up 3.9 per cent. Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc and Diamond Bank Plc appreciated by 3.8 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively.
Trading activity level was mixed as volume t fell 44.5 per cent to 112.5 million shares while value traded rose 87.4 per cent to N2.4 billion. The most actively traded sectors were: Financial services (60.21 million share), Healthcare (24.27 million shares) and, Consumer Goods (12.03 million shares), while three most actively traded stocks were: May and Baker (23.42 million shares), Sterling Bank (8.79 million shares) and Transcorp (8.31 million shares).
In terms of sectoral performance, the NSE Banking and NSE Insurance indices gained 0.1 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively. The banking index was bolstered by gains in Zenith Bank (+2.0 per cent), United Bank for Africa Plc (+0.9 per cent), while the insurance index rose as result of was buy sentiments that lifted Mansard Insurance (+2.6%). Conversely, the NSE Industrial Goods Index slid 0.8 per cent to lead decliners mainly on account of sell pressure on Dangote Cement (-1.5 per cent). The NSE Consumer Goods Index trailed closely dipping by 0.6 per cent.