Goddy Egene

The stock market fell further yesterday following losses by bellwether counters.

Consequently, the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index (NSE ASI) that hit a-15 month low on Monday, went down further by another 0.48 per cent to close lower at 33,449.17, while market capitalisation shed N59.3 billion to close at N12.2 trillion.

However, the decline in the index resulted majorly from losses suffered by bellwether tickers such as Zenith Bank, GTBank, UBA, and Nigerian Breweries Plc among others.

Commenting on the market performance, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said: “Profit taking activities on some heavyweight counters dictated market direction today, maintaining its downward trend. Although consumer goods heavyweight, Nestle Nigeria Plc gained significantly today, selling pressure still prevailed. We maintain our stance of a negative close to the market at the end of the trading week.”

Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc led the price losers and NAHCO Plc with 10 apiece. Universal Insurance Plc and Sunu Assurance Plc trailed with 9.0 per cent each. Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc and Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc went down by 8.3 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively.

Other top price losers included: Niger Insurance Plc (7.6 per cent); Cornerstone Insurance Plc (7.4 per cent); UAC of Nigeria Plc (7.2 per cent); United Capital Plc (7.1 per cent); Standard Insurance Plc (6.9 per cent); GTBank (5.8 per cent) and Skye Bank Plc (5.0 per cent).

In all, 30 stocks shed value, while only 14 stocks appreciated. Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc led the gainers with 10 per cent, followed by Nestle Nigeria Plc with 9.5 per cent.

Regency Alliance Insurance Plc chalked up 9.5 per cent, while Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc garnered 9.0 per cent. Learn Africa Plc, Dangote Flour Mills Plc, WAPIC Insurance Plc went up by 8.9 per cent, 7.0 per cent and 5.1 per cent in that order.

Meanwhile, volume and value of trading increased 9.5 per cent and 17.7 per cent to 150.7 million shares and N1.6 billion respectively. The top traded by volume were GTBank (17.5 million shares ), UBA (15.6 million shares ) and Diamond Bank (13.8 million shares ) while GTBank (N562.8 million ), Nestle (N250.7 million) and Zenith Bank (N236.0 million ) were the top trade by value.

In terms of sectoral performance, the NSE Banking Index led the bears, sliding by 3.0 per cent due to continuous selloffs in GTBank, Zenith Bank and UBA. The NSE Insurance Index shed 0.9 per cent, while the NSE Oil & Gas Index fell by 0.8 per cent.