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Persistent sell-off drags index further by 2.02 per cent

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Transactions in the equities sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) reopened on a downturn yesterday, as the All Share Index (ASI) plunged further by 2.02 per cent, following persistent sell-offs from investors.

Precisely, the ASI dropped by 425.24 points or 2.02 per cent to 20,669.38 points. Accordingly, investors lost N222 billion in value as market capitalisation declined to N10.772 trillion.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Seplat Petroleum Development Company (Seplat), Dangote Cement, BUA Cement, BOC Gases Nigeria and Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO).

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Analysts at United Capital Plc expected sentiment for stocks to remain broadly tepid, with renewed interests anticipated on select blue-chip stocks, as discerning investors continued to take advantage of the current market valuation.

The chief research officer of Investdata Consulting Limited, Ambrose Omordion said: “We expect the mixed performance to continue depending on developments around the COVID-19 pandemic in the new week, as the government implements measures to contain the spread while addressing the adverse effects on the economy.”

However market breadth closed positive, with 21 gainers versus 13 losers. Access Bank recorded the highest price gain of 9.92 per cent, to close at N6.65, per share.

Aiico Insurance followed with a gain of 9.59 per cent to close at 80 kobo, while Lafarge Africa appreciated by 9.50 per cent to close at N9.80, per share.

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Wema Bank appreciated by 8.51 per cent to close at 51 kobo, while Fidelity Bank rose by 8.28 per cent to close at N1.83, per share. On the other hand, Cutix, Learn Africa and NAHCO led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent each, to close at N1.26, 90 kobo and N2.34, respectively, per share.

Seplat followed with a decline of 9.99 per cent to close at N490.10, while BUA Cement declined by 9.92 per cent to close at N31.80, per share. BOC Gases Nigeria depreciated by 9.88 per cent to close at N3.65 and Academy Press declined by 8.82 per cent to close at 31 kobo, per share.

The total volume of trades increased by 42.98 per cent to 336.43 million units, valued at N4.128 billion and exchanged in 4,184 deals. Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 98.62 million shares valued at N393.42 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank followed with 55.66 million shares worth N1.003 billion, while Zenith Bank traded 32.53 million shares valued at N392.77 million.
FCMB Groups traded 27.15 million shares valued at N40.63 million, while Fidelity Bank sold 23.61 million shares worth N41.75 million.

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