All-Share Index Falls 0.23% as Market Opens on Negative Note


By Goddy Egene

Profit-taking in heavy weight counters yesterday led to a negative close for the stock market on the first day of the week.

Owing to this, the market, which rose 2.63 per cent last week, declined yesterday with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) falling by 0.23 per cent to close at 41,082.38. Market capitlisation shed N39.6 billion to be at N21.5 trillion.

In terms of price movement chart, there were more price gainers than losers. However, profit-taking in Dangote Cement Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc led to the negative close.

But the decline was not unexpected because analysts had said while the market would remain mostly bullish as investors look for attractive dividend yields ahead of full year 2020 dividend declarations, there would be intermittent profit taking.

“We expect the bulls to retain dominance in the market given positioning for FY 2020 dividends amid negative real returns in the fixed income market even as we do not rule out intermittent profit-taking. However, we advise investors to take positions in only fundamentally justified stocks as the weak macro environment remains a significant headwind for corporate earnings,” analysts had said.

A total of 22 stocks depreciated led by Japaul Gold & Ventures Plc with a decline of 6.5 per cent. The stock has enjoyed an unprecedented rise recently as investors bought into the company in anticipation of turnaround in its fortune.

The company had recorded a profit after tax of N91 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2020, showing a recovery from a loss of N2.10 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2019. The recovery has been attributed to the company’s diversified from oil and maritime services business to the exploration, mining, processing and export of minerals, such as gold, lithium among others.

Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc closed the second highest price loser with 5.4 per cent, while Wema Bank Plc and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc 5.3 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively.

The board of the pharmaceutical firm has resolved to raise additional equity to the tune of N5 billion. The proposal is to approved by the shareholders later in the month.

On the positive side, African Alliance Insurance Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc, RT Briscoe Nigeria Plc, Transnationwide Express Plc and Universal Insurance Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent apiece.

BOC Gases Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc appreciated by 9.9 per cent, while Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc gained 9.5 per cent. Transcorp Plc chalked up 9.1 per cent.