The gains recorded by the equities market in the last four days have been eroded as the market returned to the control of the bears. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell by 1.09 per cent to close at 39,031.72, while market capitalisation shed N146.7 billion to close lower at N13.3 trillion.
Although companies are reporting their financial performance for the half year (H1) ended June 30, 2018, with some recording improved bottom-lines, investors moved in to lock in gains posted in the four-day rally.
Hence, the bearish start to the month of August. Depreciation in stocks such as Nestle Nigeria Plc, Dangote Cement Plc, Access Bank Plc and FBN Holdings Plc were responsible for the decline recorded.
In all, 24 stocks shed value led by CAP Plc and Royal Exchange Plc with 10 per cent apiece. International Breweries Plc followed with 9.7 per cent, while Unity Bank Plc and Sunu Assurance Plc went down by 9.3 per cent and 9.0 per cent in that order.
Other top price losers included: Fidelity Bank Plc (8.0 per cent); PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc (7.2 per cent); Regency Alliance Insurance Plc(4.0 per cent); Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc (3.7 per cent) and Custodian Investment Plc (3.6 per cent).
On the positive side, 21 stocks gained led by Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc with 10 per cent. Jaiz Bank Plc trailed with 8.4 per cent, just as Okomu Oil Palm Plc and Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc chalked up 8.4 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, activity level was mixed as volume traded fell 2.0 per cent to 240.0 million shares whilst value traded increased 10.9 per cent to N5.0 billion. The most traded stocks by volume were Zenith Bank Plc (94.9 million shares ), UBA (28.7 million shares) and Nigerian Breweries (15.1 million) while Zenith Bank Plc (N2.2 billion),Nigerian Breweries Plc (N1.6 billion) and UBA (N271.9 million) were the top traded stocks by value.
In terms sectoral performance three sectors trended southwards led by the NSE Consumer Goods Index with led with a decline of 2.3 per cent. The NSE Banking Index went down by 0.7 per cent, just as NSE Industrial Goods Index 0.4 per cent.
On the hand, the NSE Oil & Gas Index rose 0.6 per cent, while NSE Insurance Index closed flat.
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