Despite price gains that outweighed losses, transactions on the equity sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed on a downward note yesterday, as most highly capitalised stocks, especially Total and Dangote Cement depreciated in price, causing market capitalisation to dip by N16 billion.
Specifically, at the close of trading, 23 stocks depreciated in price, whileTotal emerged the day's highest price loser, shedding N11.20 to close at N222.60 per share.Dangote Cement followed with N3 to close at N245 per share, as FBN Holdings lost N1.20 to close at N12.20 per share, while WAPCO depreciated by 85 kobo to close at N42.40 per share and Oando declined by 45 kobo to close at N8.70 per share.
On the other hand, Nestle topped the gainers' chart with N74.60 kobo to close at N1568.20 per share, followed by Seplat with N27.90 to close at N765 per share.Forte Oil gained N4.40 to close at N47.70 per share; Presco added N3.30 to close at N69.30 per share; and GlaxoSmithKline garnered 70 kobo to close at N24 per share.
Consequently, the market capitalisation of listed equities dropped by N16 billion to N14,721 trillion from N14,737 billion achieved on Tuesday.Also, the All-Share Index dipped by 45.31 points or 0.1 per cent from 40,801.04 points to 40,755.73 points.
Analysts expressed optimism that the market would record sustained uptrend as more earnings' surprises hit the market.Precisely, The Chief Research Officer of Investdata Consulting Limited, Ambrose Omodion, said: "We expect a sustained uptrend as more earnings' surprises hit the market in the midst of profit taking and expected first quarter 2018 Gross Domestic Product that is likely to be supported by monetary stimulus and extraneous factors like upswing in oil price, among other global events now closely under watch."Even so, value investors continue to position for the short and long-term on the strength of company fundamentals.
However, we would like to reiterate that investors should not panic, but go for equities with intrinsic value, especially during this season when dividend payment is ongoing and first quarter results are expected in the market arena.
"We advise investors to allow numbers guide their decisions, while repositioning in any stock, especially now that stock prices remain volatile amid improving company, economic and market fundamentals. It is time to combine fundamentals and technical tools to take decision by knowing the support and resistant level to reposition or exit any position," he said.
On the activity chart, FBN Holdings dominated in volume terms with 80 million shares worth N1.2 billion, while United Bank for Africa followed with 60 million units worth N684 million.
Fidelity Bank accounted for 40 million units valued at N101 million, as Access Bank traded 32 million units valued at N366 million, while Flourmills exchanged 15 million units worth N538 million.
In all, investors exchanged 350 million shares valued at N4.6 billion in 5,020 deals, higher than a total of 246.58 million units valued at N3.22 billion, transacted in 4,918 deals on Tuesday.