Equities Market Falls Further as Bellwethers Dominate Price Losers

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Goddy Egene

The stock market depreciated further yesterday following price losses by bellwethers such as Dangote Cement Plc, Zenith Bank Plc,FBN Holdings Plc and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell 0.42 per cent to close at 27,412.13, compared to 0.52 per cent the previous day. Similarly, the market capitalisation shed N56.2 billion to be at N13.4 trillion. A total of 17 stocks lost value while 11 appreciated.

Although bellwethers were majorly responsibly for the decline in the index, Redstar Express Plc led the price losers’ table with 9.8 per cent trailed by Continental Reinsurance Plc with 9.6 per cent. Jaiz Bank Plc shed 9.5 per cent, while Japaul Oil and Maritime Plc went down by 9.0 per cent. Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc lost 8.3 per cent, just as Chams Plc and May & Baker Nigeria Plc depreciated by 5.8 per cent. Wema Bank Plc and WAPIC Insurance Plc declined by 5.1 per cent apiece.

On the positive side, AIICO Insurance Plc led the price gainers with 9.3 per cent, trailed by Conoil Plc with 6.3 per cent. The shareholders of the pretroleum marketing firm will meet on August 16, 2019 to approve the 200 kobo dividend recommended by the board for the year ended December 31, 2018.

Conoil Plc has posted a profit after tax (PAT) of N1.796 billion for the year ended 2018, showing an increase of 14 per cent above the N1.579 billion posted in 2017. Based on the result, directors of the petroleum products marketing firm, has recommended a dividend of 200 kobo per share.

LASACO Assurance Plc also appreciated by 5.8 per cent, while Honeywell Flour Mills Plc and Eterna Plc chalked up 5.2 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, activity level equally weakened as volume and value traded fell by 24.4 per cent and 47.8 per cent to 128.9 million shares and N1.2 billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were FBN Holdings Plc (30.9 million shares), Transcorp Plc (16.0 million shares) and FCMB Group Plc (11.0 million shares) while top traded stocks by value were MTN Nigeria (N390.8 million), FBN Holdings Plc (N162.1 million) and Zenith Bank Plc (N148.6 million). In terms of sectoral performance, four sectors depreciated as against only that appreciated.