The equities market capitalisation went down by N124.9 billion yesterday as bearish trading continued on the Nigerian bourse. The market had shed 0.48 per cent last week due to profit taking in bellwether stocks. While it was expected that trading might resume on positive on bargain hunting, the bears remained in control.
Consequently, market capitalisation fell by N124.9 billion to close at N14.7 trillion, while the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) declined by 0.84 per cent to close lower at 40,677.61. However, activity level was mixed as volume of shares traded grew 2.0 per cent to 218.8 million shares while value of shares traded dipped by 47.3 per cent to N2.2 billion.
In all, 32 stocks lost value while only 11 stocks appreciated. C & I Leasing Plc led the laggards with 9.3 per cent trailed by First Aluminium Nigeria Plc with 8.8 per cent. Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc shed 7.5 per cent, just as Okomu Oil Palm Plc, Oando Plc, AXA Mansard Insurance Plc and Diamond Bank Plc depreciated by 5.0 per cent, 4.9 per cent, 4.8 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively.
Diamond Bank Plc last Friday recorded a loss of N9.011 billion for the year 2017 financial year while its PAT for first quarter in 2018 fell by 82 per cent to N784 million, from N5.049 billion in the corresponding period of 2017.
On the positive side, Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc led the price gainers with 4.9 per cent, followed by Sterling Bank Plc with 3.8 per cent. Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc chalked up 3.5 per cent, while FCMB Group Plc and Cutix Plc went up by 3.5 per cent, and 3,2 per cent in that order.
Analysts at SCM Capital Limited said: In the interim, we see a mixed sentiment albeit with a bearish bias. However, we maintain that the current valuation provides attractive entry opportunity.â€
On a sectoral basis, four sectors closed lower while only the NSE Oil & Gas Index flat. The NSE Insurance Index led laggards, down 1.7 per cent, trailed by the NSE Consumer Goods Index with 1.6 per cent. The NSE Banking Index and NSE Industrial Goods Index shed 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent in that order.