Nigerian stocks plunge deeper on investors’ waning risk appetite

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Nigerian stocks on Wednesday saw the intensity at which they fell at the last trading session reach a stronger pitch, with benchmark index dropping by 0.34 per cent amid investor’s evaporating interest in equities as yuletide edges near, deepening fears that shares may close the year with a pretty low single-digit yield.

Stocks have returned 4.9 per cent January to date, well behind the 50 per cent they delivered last year, when Bloomberg ranked the Nigerian equities market best in world as it took the top spot in the pecking order of the 93 stock indexes it tracked.

MTNN, Nigeria’s biggest public company by revenue, together with FBN Holdings and Zenith steered the fall, which occurred simultaneously with a decline in volume by 19 per cent.

Market watchers at broker and investment bank United Capital said in a Monday note investors are likely to dominantly take profit this week “in the absence of major catalysts.”

With 17 advancers reported in contrast to 14 declining stocks, market breadth, which is used to determine the extent of investors sentiment to trade, closed on a positive note.

The all-share index eased by 144.35 basis points to 42,244.22, while market capitalisation closed lower at N22.06 trillion.

TOP FIVE GAINERS

May & Baker led gainers, appreciating by 10 per cent to close at N4.51. Cutix added 10 per cent to end the day’s trade at N2.64. UPDC advanced by 7.76 per cent to N1.25. Consolidated Hallmark rose to N0.62, notching up 5.08 per cent in the process. Chams completed the top 5, climbing up by 5 per cent to N0.21.

TOP FIVE LOSERS

Royal Exchange topped the losers’ chart, declining by 6.67 per cent to close at N0.70. Lasaco shed 6.36 per cent to end trade at N1.03. Union Bank fell to N4.60, losing 5.15 per cent. FCMB slumped to N2.87, recording 4.33 per cent depreciation. Oando closed at N4.37, going down by 3.96 per cent.

TOP FIVE TRADES

In all, 224 million shares estimated at N2.7 billion were traded in 2,677 deals.

UACN was the most active stock with 77.4 million of its shares worth N696.5 million traded in 29 deals. Mutual Benefits’ shares of 15 million units, priced at N4.3 million, exchanged hands in 37 transactions. Sovereign Trust had 12.1 million shares valued at N3 million traded in 18 deals. Veritas Kapital traded 9.6 million shares estimated at N2 million in 2 transactions. Access traded 9 million shares valued at N80.9 million in 149 deals.

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