The Nigerian equity market opened for the week on a negative note, declining marginally by 0.04 per cent as profit taking continued. The market had depreciated by 2.5 per cent last week on profit taking after a period of an unprecedented bull run.
The profit taking continued yesterday as 46 stocks declined compared with only five that appreciated. Consequently, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) fell by 0.04 per cent to close at 34,121.78, while market capitalisation shed N17.83 billion to be at N17.838 trillion.
Although there were 46 price losers, gains by Dangote Cement Plc, BUA Cement Plc, Airtel Africa Plc and Nestle Nigeria Plc, which the leading capitalised stocks, moderated the losses, which led to the marginal decline.
Analysts at Cordros Research had said despite the decline last week, in the short to medium term, they still saw scope for expansion in valuation multiples as the depressed yield environment remains compelling for yield-seeking investors to rebalance their portfolio towards equities.
"In the week ahead (this week), we expect a mixed market performance due to continued profit-taking activities and positioning by early birds in dividend-paying stocks ahead of full year (FY) 2020 dividend declarations. We reiterate the need for positioning in only fundamentally sound stocks as the weak macro environment remains a significant headwind for corporate earnings," they had said.
Six stocks depreciated by 10 per cent led by Custodian Investment Plc. Others included: Ardova Plc, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc and Transcorp Plc.
Oando Plc and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc went down by 9.9 per cent, just as Guinness Nigeria Plc and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc depreciated by 9.5 per cent and 9.4 per cent in that order among others.
On the positive side, Airtel Africa Plc led the price gainers with 5.0 per cent trailed by BUA Cement Plc with 2.5 per cent. Dangote Cement Plc chalked up 3.4 per cent, just as Nestle Nigeria Plc and NEM Insurance Plc appreciated by 1.8 per cent ans 0.7 per cent respectively.
The total volume of trades increased by 64.7 per cent to 568.04 million units, valued at N7.33 billion, and exchanged in 8,928 deals. Zenith Bank Plc was the most traded stock by volume and value at 79.74 million units and N1.91 billion, respectively.