Goddy Egene

The year-to-date (YtD) decline recorded by the stock market hit 10 per cent wednesday, following profit taking in bellwethers which depressed the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index (NSE ASI) by 1.5 per cent.

The NSE ASI ended the day lower at 34,414.37, while market capitalisation shed N190.5 billion to close at N12.6 trillion. The negative performance was contrary to a rebound the market witnessed the previous day.

After opening the month on a negative note on Monday, the stock market rebounded on Tuesday, with the NSE ASI rising 0.28 per cent. However, the bullish trading could not be sustained yesterday as investors booked profit in bellwether counters such as Dangote Cement Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc. In all, 26 stocks lost value as against 20 that appreciated. Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc, which is shopping for N2 billion via Rights Issue, led the price losers with 10 per cent. It was followed by Learn Africa Plc with 9.8 per cent, just as Chams Plc and Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc fell by 9.6 per cent and 9.5 per cent in that order.

Niger Insurance Plc and AIICO Insurance Plc shed 9.0 per cent apiece just as Universal Insurance Plc and Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc depreciated 8.3 per cent and 8.0 per cent respectively.

On the other hand, C & I Leasing Plc led the price gainers with 8.5 per cent trailed by Jaiz Bank Plc with 8.1 per cent. Sterling Bank Plc and Forte Oil Plc garnered 5.8 per cent and 5.2 per cent in that order.

Other top price gainers included: Wema Bank Plc (5.0 per cent); Regency Alliance Insurance Plc (4.5 per cent); Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Transcorp Plc (4.1 per cent each) and Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc (3.7 per cent).

Meanwhile, activity level fell as volume and value traded fell 16.7 per cent and 40.0 per cent to 200.3 million shares and N2.2 billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were United Bank for Africa Plc (22.5 million shares), Stanbic IBTC (19.3 million shares) and FCMB Group Plc (19.1 million shares) while Stanbic IBTC (N904.2 million), GTBank (N268.2 million) and Seplat (N260.8 million) led by value.

In terms of sectoral performance four of the five tracked sectors closed in the bears’ territory. Only the NSE Consumer Goods Index emerged gainer with 0.3 per cent.