By Goddy Egene
The equities market returned to negative territory yesterday after opening the week on a positive note the previous day. The market had gained 0.1 per cent on Monday as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) rose to 25,605.59, while market capitalisation added N7.1 billion to close at N3.32 trillion.
However, the positive momentum could not be sustained yesterday as most investors waited to digest the news of inflation that hit 13.22 per cent in August, the highest reading in 28 months.
At the close of trade the NSE ASI depreciated by 0.03 per cent to be at 25,597.96, while market capitalisation shed N4 billion to close at N13.354 trillion. The bears accounted for 15 price losers as against the 13 stocks that appreciated in price.
NPF Microfinance Bank Plc led the price losers with 9.4 per cent, trailed by Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc with 7.4 per cent. Redstar Express Plc and NAHCO Aviance Plc shed 6.1 per cent apiece.
Oando Plc went down by 5.4 per cent, just as AXA Mansard Insurance Plc shed 2.1 per cent. FBN Holdings Plc and Wema Bank Plc were also among the losers, depreciating by 1.9 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively.
On the positive side, Ikeja Hotel Plc led the price gainers with 9.5 per cent, followed by UACN Property Development Company Plc 9.2 per cent gain. Cornerstone Insurance Plc appreciated by 6.4 per cent, just as Japaul and Lafarge Africa Plc added 5.0 per cent and 3.4 per cent in that order.
Other top price gainers included: Transcorp Plc (1.6 per cent); CAP Plc (1.1 per cent); Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (1.0 per cent) and FCMB Group Plc (0.9 per cent).
Meanwhile, volume and value traded decreased 4.6 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively to 245.1 million shares and N3.0 billion. The most traded stocks by volume were FBN Holdings Plc (51.4 million shares), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (46.3 million shares) and Zenith Bank Plc (18.8 million shares) while GTBank (N1.2 billion), Stanbic IBTC Holdings (N630.0 million) and Zenith Bank (N322.4 million) led by value.
In terms of Sector performance was mixed. The NSE Oil & Gas and Banking indices led laggards, down 1.2 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively. The NSE Consumer Goods Index fell 0.1 per cent.
On the other hand, the NSE Insurance and NSE Industrial Goods indices gained 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent in that order.