By Goddy Egene
The rally at the stock market was halted yesterday after 12 days as investors moved in to lock in profit accumulated during the bull run. As a result, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) fell 0.95 per cent to close at 28,634.35, while market capitalisation shed N143.7 billion to close at N14.967 trillion.
The stock had witnessed an unprecedented surge following flow of liquidity from the fixed income market as investors searched for investments with higher returns. The 12-day rally saw equities market capitalisation cross the N15 trillion mark and catapulted the year-to-date gain of the ASI to 7.7 per cent on Tuesday.
However, the bears set in following profit take by investors which led to 31 stocks depreciated compared with 21 stocks that appreciated. But analysts had envisaged the return of the bears after 12 days of dominance by the bulls.
Unilever Nigeria Plc led the price losers with 9.8 per cent, trailed by Cornerstone Insurance Plc with 9.0 per cent. UACN Property Development Company Plc shed 8.1 per cent, just as Custodian Investment Plc went down by 7.2 per cent.
On the positive side, Berger Paints Nigeria Plc led the price gainers with 9.8 per cent, trailed by Linkage Assurance Plc with 9.7 per cent. NASCON Allied Industries Plc and Mutual Benefit Assurance Plc appreciated by 9.5 per cent apiece, while CAP Plc chalked up 9.3 per cent among others.
Despite the negative close, volume and value of trading rose by 11.1 per cent and 0.4 per cent to 832.9 million shares and N9.5 billion respectively. The most traded stocks by volume were FBN Holdings Plc (128.8 million shares), Zenith Bank Plc (120.6 million shares) and UBA (84.0 million shares) while Zenith Bank Plc (N2.4 billion), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N2.4 billion) and FBN Holdings Plc (N789.8 million) led by value.
Analysts at Investdata Consulting had said they expected uptrend and buying interest to continue, even as profit taking is under way amidst positioning ahead of third quarter (Q3) corporate earnings season, despite the negative macroeconomic indices.
“This is given the further crash in money market rates, while inflation peaked at 13.22 per cent, worsening the negative returns on many investment windows. The mixed intraday movement is likely to persist this October in the midst of an expected profit booking, as well as the mismatch of economic policies and negative macroeconomic indices,” they said.