By Helen Oji
The bears strengthened their hold on the equity sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), as virtually all the bluechip companies recorded price depreciation, especially Nigerian Breweries (NB) and Cadbury, resulting to a further slide in indices by N37 billion.
Yesterday, the All-Share Index plunged by 0.2 per cent or 103.3 points from 41,935.93 recorded on Friday to 41,832.63, while market capitalisation dipped by N37 billion to N14,964 trillion from N15,001 trillion achieved on Friday.
Further analysis of yesterday's transactions showed that 36 stocks constituted the losers' chart as NB emerged the day's highest price loser with N4.50 to close at N128.50 per share.
Cadbury followed with N1.65 to close at N15.45 per share. Stanbic IBTC shed N1 to close at N49 per share. EcobankTransnational Incorporated lost 95 kobo to close at N18.85 per share. National Salt Company of Nigeria depreciated by 85 kobo to close at N19.35 per share.
Dangote cement led 19 other gainers with 100 kobo to close at N265 per share, while PZ Cussons followed with 55 kobo to close at N23.55 per share. Guaranty Trust Bank gained 0.40 kobo to close at N45.30 per share.
Zenith Bank appreciated by 40 kobo to close at N28 per share, while United Capital gained 18 kobo to close at N3.37 per share.Analyst at Investdata Consulting Limited explained that the market would witness a reversal on the strength of low prices and more earnings' reports that would hit the market.
Specifically, the Chief Operating Officer of the firm, Ambrose Omodion said: "We expect a reversal on the strength of low prices and more earnings reports to hit the market, with economic indices remaining strongly positive for bargain hunters to take advantage of this pullback to position for short trading. "Even as more income investors take position in value and dividend paying stocks, ahead of 2018 Q1 corporate earnings and economic data, we also expect volatility and repositioning to continue, while profit taking will reduce on the strength of expected payout and earnings' surprises.
"However, we would like to reiterate that investors should not panic, but go for equities with intrinsic value, especially during this season when dividend payment is approaching. "We advise investors to allow numbers guide their decisions, while repositioning for the rest of the year's trading activities, especially now that stock prices remain volatile amid improving company, economic and market fundamentals."
Zenith Bank dominated in volume terms with 128 million shares worth N3.4 billion, while FBN Holdings followed with 23 million units valued at N276 million. Access Bank accounted for 11 million shares valued at N136 million and TransNational Corporation traded 11 million shares worth N19 million.On the whole, investors exchanged 327 million shares worth N5.2 million in 5,366 deals.