The Nigerian stock market opened the week with a decline of 0.32 per cent, thereby failing to sustain the rebound recorded last week. The market had last week gained 0.45 per cent following two days of bargain hunting.
However, the positive performance could not be sustained yesterday as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (NSE ASI) shed 0.32 per cent to close lower at 35,311.36.
Similarly, market capitalisation shed N41 billion to close at N12.89 trillion. But the decline was caused majorly by profit taking Dangote Cement Plc. Ex-Dangote Cement, the market would have closed 0.43 per cent higher.
The indication that the market would have closed with growth is also reflected in the number of price gainers that stood at 26 as against of 14 price losers. The price losers were led by First Aluminium with 10.0 per cent, trailed by Ikeja Hotel Plc with 9.6 per cent. Universal Insurance Plc followed with 9.0 per cent, while Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc shed 7.6 per cent. NSL Technology Plc and UAC of Nigeria Plc went down by 4.7 per cent in that order.
On the positive side, Diamond Bank Plc and Niger Insurance Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent apiece trailed by Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc with 9.7 per cent. Linkage Assurance Plc chalked up 9.4 per cent, just as Jaiz Bank Plc and Transcorp Plc garnered 8.3 per cent and 7.2 per cent respectively.
Other top price gainers included: Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc (6.9 per cent); Custodian Investment Plc (4.2 per cent); Union Diagnostics and Clinical Services Plc (3.8 per cent) and Fidelity Bank Plc (3.7 per cent).
Meanwhile, activity level fell as volume and value traded fell 66.7 per cent and 56.6 per cent to 175.8 million shares and N1.9 billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were NAHCO (19.2 million shares), Access Bank Plc (16.8 million shares), and Diamond Bank Plc (13.2 million shares), while Nestle Nigeria Plc (N270.7 million ), Zenith Bank Plc (N230.4 million) and Beta Glass Plc (N197.9 million) were the top traded stocks by value.
In terms of sectoral performance, four of indices closed higher led by the NSE Banking Index and NSE Insurance Index with 1.0 per cent apiece. The NSE Oil & Gas Index appreciated by 0.5 per cent, while NSE Consumer Goods Index gained 0.2 per cent. The Industrial Goods Index was the lone loser, shedding 0.8 per cent.