Equity market maintains downtrend, sheds 0.35%


The downward trend of the local bourse was extended into the fifth consecutive day following sell offs in Guaranty Trust Bank (-1.8 percent) Seplat Petroleum Development Company (-5.0 percent) and Lafarge Africa (-5.0 percent).
As a result, the All Share Index (ASI) declined 38 braising points to 41,686.36 points while year till date return contracted to 9.0 percent.
Accordingly, market capitalization decreased by N57.1 billion to N14.9 trillion. Activity level was however mixed as volume traded advanced 21.8 percent to 398.2 million units while value traded fell 25.7 percent to N3.9 billion. Fidson Healthcare (85.1 million), African Insurance (40.1 million) and FBN Holdings (34.9 million) were the top traded stocks by volume while Guaranty Trust Bank (N826.7 million), Zenith Bank (N682.3 million) and Fidson Healthcare (N424.8 million) led by value.
The Oil and Gas index led today’s bearish performance, posting a 2.7 percent decline on account of price depreciation in SEPLAT (-5.0 percent). The Industrial Goods index trailed, shedding 2.0 percent as Lafarge Africa (-5.0 percent) recorded losses. In related news, Dangote Cement released an impressive financial year 2017 result, posting a 31.0 percent increase in gross revenue to N805.6b billion while profit before tax and profit after tax inched 60.1 percent and 43.0 percent higher to N289.6 billion and N204.2 billion respectively; dividend of N10.50 was declared for the period. Similarly, sell pressures in NEM Insurance (-3.9 percent), Africa Reinsurance (-3.6 percent), Guaranty Trust Bank (-1.8 percent) and UBA (-1.3 percent) drove the negative performance of the Insurance (-1.1 percent) and Banking (-0.7 percent) indices . On the flip side, the Consumer Goods index was the only gainer, up 0.1 percent buoyed by gains in Unilever Nigeria (+5.0 percent) and National Salt Company of Nigeria (+3.4 percent).
Investor sentiment measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) improved marginally to 0.5x from 0.4x recorded yesterday consequent on 19 stocks advancing relative to 31 that declined. The best performing stocks were Unity Bank (+6.5 percent), Unilever Nigeria (+5.0 percent) and Total Nigeria (+5.0 percent) while Cadbury Nigeria (-9.4 percent), Japaul Oil (-9.4 percent), and Multi-Trex (-9.1 percent) led the laggards.


L – R: Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) presenting a replica of the closing gong to Alhaji Ahmed Rufai Mohammed, F. IoD, President/Chairman of Council, Institute of Director (IoD) during the Closing Gong Ceremony at the Exchange.