27 February 2013

Nigeria: Bears Remain in Control Amid Cautious Trading

The bears remained in control at the Nigerian stock market for the second day running as a combination of cautious trading and profit-taking left most equities in the red.

By the close of trading Tuesday, the benchmark Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell further by 0.58 per cent to close at 33,613.87, while market capitalisation shed N63 billion to close lower at N10.756 trillion.

The market had opened for the week with decline of 0.25 per cent in the ASI led by leading brewing firm, Nigerian Breweries Plc. While the brewer recovered part of the previous loss to close on a positive note, the highest capitalised stock, Dangote Cement Plc declined in value to lead the price losers.

Specifically, the stock, which had stood against the bears last Friday to lift the market into the green territory, fell by N5.00 yesterday to N155 per share. The N5.00 decline translated into N85 billion depreciation in market capitalisation for Dangote Cement Plc.

PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc closed as the second highest price loser, shedding N2.50 to close at N38 per cent. UAC of Nigeria Plc trailed with a decline of N1.50, just as MRS Oil Nigeria Plc depreciated byN1.45.

Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and UACN Property Development Company Plc shed N0.97 and N0.88 to close at N76.01 and N15.12 respectively.

"Some investors are still taking profit given the rate of growth most stocks recorded since the beginning of the year. Also, other investors are being cautious considering the fact the two results released for 2012 financial year by two companies saw profit levels that were not too fantastic even though they declared higher dividends," a stockbroker, Mr. Ayo Oguntayo, said.

He, however, noted that the bearish trend would not last throughout the week.

Similarly, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited, said in line with their expectation for this week, "the current bearish trend does not portend weak investor sentiments as we stay firm on our positive return."

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