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Stock market reopens bearish as index dip by 1.2 per cent


For the first trading day of the year, transactions on the equity sector of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), reopened 2019 on a downturn yesterday, causing the All-share index to depreciate by 1.2 per cent.

With heavy sell-off on high cap stocks, the All-share Index (ASI) was down by 360.44 absolute points, representing a decrease of 1.15 per cent to close at 31,070.06 points. Similarly, market capitalisation decreased by N135 billion, closing at N11.586 trillion.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, including Nestle Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries, Dangote Cement, Flourmills Nigeria, and Forte Oil.Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said: “As bargain-hunting opportunities avail, we expect investors to take positions in market bellwethers and stocks with strong fundamentals, and as such expect a considerable improvement on market performance for the rest of the week.”

Also, analysts at APT Securities and Funds Limited, noted that going by yesterday’s equities market performance, the direction of the index across sectors is partially uncertain, as major political news/information will have an ample effect going forward on investors’ sentiment.Market breadth closed negative with 16 gainers against 22 losers. Julius Berger recorded the highest price gain of 9.95 per cent to close at N22.10, per share. 
Vitafoam Nigeria followed with a gain of 9.55 per cent to close at N4.82, while Royal Exchange rose by 9.09 per cent to close at 24 kobo, per share.Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services appreciated eight per cent to close at 27 kobo, while Custodian Investment increased by 7.96 per cent to close at N6.10, per share.

On the other hand, Nigerian Breweries led the losers’ chart by 8.42 per cent to close at N78.30 per share. Law Union and Rock Insurance followed with a decline 8.33 per cent to close at 55 kobo, while Honeywell Flour lost 7.81 per cent to close at N1.18 per share.

Champion Breweries fell 7.54 per cent to close at N1.84, while Unity Bank was down 6.54 per cent to close at N1.00 per share.Investors traded a total share volume of 214.41 million valued at N1.56 billion in 2,856 deals. Diamond Bank traded with 50.66 million shares valued at N112 million. Sovereign Trust Insurance followed with 32.95 million shares worth N6.66 million, while Access Bank traded 20.78 million shares valued at N136.21 million.Zenith Bank traded 17.96 million shares at N413.62 million, while FBN Holdings transacted 11.28 million shares worth N88.63 million.

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