The stock market opened the second half (H2)of the year on negative note as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell by 1.2 per cent to close at 29,614.61 yesterday.
After appreciating in the last two days of the first half of the year, it was expected that the positive trend would be sustained this week. However, profit-taking in bellwethers such as Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Dangote Cement Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated led the market to a negative close. Market capitalisation shed N155.2 billion to close at N130.050 trillion.
Also, activity level weakened as volume and value traded fell 56.7 per cent and 78.9 per cent to 107.4 million units and N1.1 billion respectively. Transcorp Plc (21.9 million shares), FBN Holdings Plc (12.4 million shares) and Zenith Bank Plc (8.5 million shares) were the top traded stocks by volume while GTBank(N232.6 million), Zenith Bank Plc (N168.6 million) and Guinness Nigeria Plc (N84.8 million) led by value.
However, performance across sectors was mixed as two of the five indices tracked recorded gains. The NSE Oil & Gas Index led by 0.5 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index followed with a gain of 0.3 per cent. Conversely, the NSE Banking Index plunged 3.1 per cent trailed by the NSE Consumer Goods Index that shed 1.7 per cent, while the NSE Industrial Goods Index went down by 0.2 per cent.
Redstar Express led the price losers with 10 per cent, trailed by Transcorp Plc with 9.7 per cent, just as ETI and GTBank Plc dipped by 6.9 per cent among others.
On the positive side, Cornerstone Insurance Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent, trailed by NPF Microfinance Bank Plc with 8.5 per cent. Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc chalked up 7.6 per cent, just as Academy Press Plc garnered 7.4 per cent.
Forte Oil Plc was equally the price gainers on a day the new management of the company was on the floor of the stock exchange to sound the closing gong.
The new Chief Executive Officer of Forte Oil Plc, Mr. Olumide Adeosun had assured stakeholders that the petroleum marketing firm would remain listed on the exchange continue to deliver improved returns going forward.
However, speaking on the future plans for the company, Adeosun said the new owners were in for long term investment and wanted every stockholder to hold his or her shares.