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Indices plunge further by 0.11% amid lingering sell pressure

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[FILES] Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday extended three days of selloff, attributable to uncertainties that besieged the nation’s political environment.

For instance, the recent removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen has triggered domestic and international concerns ahead of the February 16 Presidential election, sending mixed signals into an already struggling economy.

At the close of transactions yesterday, the All-Share lndex was down by 33.37 absolute points, representing a decline of 0.11 per cent to close at 31,145.34 points. Similarly, market capitalisation decreased by N13 billion to close at N11.614 trillion.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalized stocks, amongst which are, Nestle Nigeria, Guinness Nigeria, Newrest ASL Nigeria, Flour Mills Nigeria and FBN Holdings.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said: “We maintain a bearish outlook on the market in the near term as investors seek profits following the prior week’s rally in the equities market.”
Also, Investdata Consulting Limited said the lingering profit taking and volatility, driven by political tension is expected to persist, as market players continue to reposition for 2019 dividend declaration season that will shape market performance after the elections.

“We advise cautious trading and investing why positioning in fundamentally sound equities.
Volatility will also persist as investors and fund managers reposition their portfolios, with eyes fixed on political space and ahead of full year company earnings position and post-election market dynamics.

“These are likely to drive prices north, or south, while determining market direction before or after the Presidential Election.
Investors should review their positions in line with their investment goals, strength of the company numbers and act as events unfold in the global and domestic environment.
However, market breadth closed positive, recorded 23 gainers against 19 losers. Cornerstone Insurance and Mutual Benefits Assurance led the gainers table by 10 per cent each, to close at 22 kobo, each, while Associated Bus Co followed with a gain of 9.68 per cent to close at 34 kobo, per share.

Linkage Assurance gained by 8.93 per cent to close at 61 kobo, while Beta Glass rose by 7.82 per cent to close at N60, per share. On the other hand, Newrest ASL Nigeria led the laggards’ table by 9.79 per cent to close at N6.45, per share.

Lasaco Assurance trailed with a loss of 9.38 per cent, to close at 29 kobo, while McNichols shed 9.09 per cent, to close at 30 kobo, per share. Wema Bank dipped by 8.82 per cent, to close at 62 kobo, while Meyer went down by 8.47 per cent, to close at 54 kobo per share.

Total volume traded declined by 30.59 per cent to 249.54 million shares, valued at N3.12 billion, and exchanged in 4,018 deals. Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 56.37 million shares valued at N1.3 billion.

Access Bank traded 36.19 million shares worth N218.05 million and Sterling Bank transacted 32.3 million shares valued at N75.55 million.

Diamond Bank sold 20.19 million shares worth N46.5 million, while United Bank for Africa traded 15.97 million shares valued at N116.02 million.


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