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Stock market indices slump by N162b amid losses in bellwethers

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Brokers on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Transactions on the equities sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), closed on a downward note yesterday, occasioned by losses in some high-value stocks, causing market capitalisation to plunge by N162 billion.
   
Specifically, at the close of trading Thursday, market capitalisation depreciated by N162billion from N11.872trillion recorded on Wednesday, to N11.710trillion. The All-share index plunged by 309.51 points from 22,780.30 to 22,470.79.
   
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in highly capitalised stocks, amongst which were; Nestle Nigeria, Dangote Cement, BUA Cement, UAC of Nigeria (UACN) and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI).
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Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said: “In line with current events shaping economic and business activities, we also foresee the first quarter (Q1), 2020 corporate earnings release to partly influence investor sentiment in the near term.”
   
The Chief Research Officer at Investdata Consulting Limited, Ambrose Omordion, said: “We expect mixed performance as profit and position-taking continued on a mixed sentiment ahead of more corporate earnings as smart money repositions their portfolios in the midst of crashing and oscillating oil prices. 

   
“However, the market’s high dividend yield continues to attract buying interests, while more audited corporate earnings hit the market going forward.”

Meanwhile, market breadth closed positive, with 17 gainers versus 15 losers. Jaiz Bank recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent to close at 55 kobo, while Cadbury Nigeria followed with a gain 9.52 per cent to close at N6.90 per share.

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Wema Bank and United Capital rose 9.09 per cent each, to close at 60 kobo and N2.40, respectively, while Vitafoam Nigeria appreciated by 6.12 per cent to close at N4.51, per share.
   
On the other hand, ETI and UACN led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent each, to close at N4.50 and N6.75, respectively, while Linkage Assurance followed with a decline of 8.62 per cent to close at 53 kobo per share.
   
Skyway Aviation Handling Company lost 7.22 per cent to close at N1.67, and Livestock Feeds shed 7.14 per cent to close at 65 kobo, per share.

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However, the total volume traded rose by 8.19 per cent to 201.475 million shares worth N3.358 billion, traded in 3,381 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Access Bank topped the activity chart with 46.809 million shares valued at N297.338million.
   
FBN Holdings followed with 32.641 million shares worth N141.032million, while Zenith Bank traded 19.377 million shares at N268.431million.

United Capital traded 13.870 million shares valued at N32.641million, and Guaranty Trust Bank transacted 13.562 million shares worth N256.715million.

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