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Sell-off persists, as investors lose N265 billion more

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[FILES] Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)


•Analysts urge shareholders to leverage low stock prices
Following sell pressure on the shares of  major blue-chip stocks , trading on the equities sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), yesterday extended the losing streak, as investors’ wealth plunged significantly by N265 billion. Specifically, at the close of trading Thursday, the All Share Index (ASI) fell by 543.70 points or 1.86 per cent to 29,256.60 points. 
 
Investors lost N265 billion in value as market capitalisation declined to N13.993 trillion from N14.258 trillion.The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in some bellwethers, amongst which were; Nestle Nigeria, Airtel Africa, MTN Nigeria, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN), and Dangote Cement.Analysts urged investors to leverage current low stock prices and reposition their portfolio for increased yield in future.
   
Specifically, the Managing Director of Investdata Consulting, Ambrose Omodion, said: “A good understanding of equity market dynamics at this point will help intelligent and discerning investors take advantage of these low prices to reposition their portfolios by way of averaging down. This means selling down positions with less opportunity of rebounding, even when the market recovers.
The half-year earnings season is expected to catalyse a movement in some of the big stocks that recently made their 52 weeks lows. 

“There is an opportunity to make billions of Naira within a few days on a quarterly basis. The challenge is only that many traders are very afraid of being caught on the wrong side, as a result of which they avoid such risks.”
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited, said the downward trend would continue in the near term, noting that the development presents opportunities to position in premium stocks.  
   
Further breakdown of yesterday’s transactions showed that market breadth closed negative, with 10 gainers versus 18 losers. Sovereign Trust Insurance recorded the highest price gain of 4.76 per cent to close at 22 kobo per share. Courteville Business Solution followed with 4.55 per cent to close at 23 kobo, while Guaranty Trust Bank added 3.27 per cent to close at N30, per share.
   
Lafarge Africa rose 1.11 per cent to close at N13.70, and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) 0.99 per cent to close at N1.02, per share.

On the other hand, AXA Mansard Insurance led the losers’ chart with 10 per cent to close at N1.80 per share. Airtel Africa followed with 9.99 per cent to close at N323.50, and CCNN 9.77 to close at N13.85, per share. Consolidated Hallmark Insurance lost 9.09 per cent to close at 30 kobo, while Nestle Nigeria shed 4.833 per cent to close at N1,280, per share.
   
The total volume traded declined marginally by 0.18 per cent to 188.43 million shares worth N3.17 billion traded in 3,105 deals. Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 50.12 million shares valued at N302.31 million.  
   
Zenith Bank followed with 21.13 million shares worth N404.32 million, while Access Bank traded 18.89 million shares at N125.52 million.United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 13.10 million shares valued at N77.47 million, and Guaranty Trust Bank transacted 13 million shares worth N380.71 million.


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Ambrose OmodionNSE
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