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Index sheds 0.9% amid persistent bearish sentiments

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[FILES] Nigerian Stock Exchange

Despite improved corporate performance, the bears strengthened their hold on the equity sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, as the All-share index (ASI), plunged further by 0.9 per cent.
   
Specifically at the close of transactions, ASI depreciated by 287.85 absolute points, representing a dip of 0.90 per cent to close at 36,232.66 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation shed N107 billion to close at N11.798 trillion.  
   
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which were; Nestle Nigeria, Okomu Oil, Lafarge Africa, International Breweries, and Ecobank Transnational Inc (ETI).
   
Analysts at APT Securities and Funds Limited said: “We expect a turn around after a four-day down days coupled with good financial expectation across sectors most especially banking stocks.
   
“Looking ahead into the week, analysts at United Capital Plc expected further earnings publications to drive sentiment with uncertainties in the polity gradually abating, saying that “overall, we imagine the possibility of further uptrend as investor continue to hunt for tickers with attractive dividend yields.”
     
Also, Afrinvest said: “Despite today’s bearish performance, we expect bargain hunting in fundamentally sound stocks and investor positioning ahead of earnings results to drive market performance during the week.”
   
Market breadth closed negative, with 14 gainers versus 19 losers. Cadbury Nigeria recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent to close at N12.10 per share.

Mutual Benefits Assurance gained 8.70 per cent to close at 25 kobo, while NASCON Allied Industries appreciated by 8.50 per cent to close at N21.70, per share.

   
Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services rose 3.45 per cent to close at 30 kobo, while NPF Micro Finance Bank gained 3.23 per cent to close at N1.60, per share.

On the other hand, Cornerstone Insurance led the losers’ chart by 8.70 per cent to close at 21 kobo, while Sterling Bank followed with a decline of 8.51 per cent to close at N2.15, per share.
   
Abbey Mortgage Bank declined by 8.16 per cent to close at 90 kobo, while Japaul Oil & Maritime Services, and Wapic Insurance each fell 4.76 per cent to close at 20 kobo and 40 kobo, per share, respectively.
   
The total volume traded declined by 44.97 per cent to 128.37 million shares worth N2.39 billion, traded in 2,752 deals. Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 34.06 million shares valued at N279.19 million.  
   
Zenith Bank followed with 21.3 million shares worth N484.4 million, while United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 17.53 million shares valued at N134.25 million.

Access Bank traded 11.46 million shares valued at N69.22 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank transacted 5.66 million shares worth N211.84 million.


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