Banking Stocks Appreciate Despite Return of Bears

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By Goddy Egene

The depreciation recorded in the share prices of companies such as Dangote Cement Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria and Nigerian Breweries Plc pushed the market into the negative territory Wednesday after rebounding Tuesday.

Bellwether counters had lifted the market Tuesday but that positive performance could not be sustained on Wednesday as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) fell by 0.46 per cent to close lower at 32,963.27. Market capitalisation shed N55.2 billion to be at N12.0 trillion.

A total of 23 stocks depreciated as against 17 that appreciated.

“We attribute the losses recorded today to prevailing negative sentiment across all sectors asides the banking sector. Nonetheless, we expect a positive close to the market at the end of the week, as investors take advantage of the low prices across the various sectors in the market,” Meristem Securities Limited said.

However, amidst the bearish trading, the banking sector attracted positive sentiments from investors which led to appreciation in five stocks. They are Zenith Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc that went up by 4.6 per cent, 3.9 per cent, 3.0 per cent, 1.3 per cent and 0.6 per cent in that order. Berger Paints Nigeria Plc led the price losers with 10 per cent, trailed by Prestige Assurance Plc with 9.8 per cent. Royal Exchange Assurance Plc shed 9.0 per cent.

Volume and value of trading declined 22.8 per cent and 37.5 per cent as investors exchanged 172.196 million shares worth N2.052 billion compared with 222.956 million shares valued at N3.283 billion Tuesday.