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Equities Market Opens Q2 Sluggishly, Investors Lose N234bn

Trading activities in the nation’s stock market opened on a bearish trend with investors losing N234 billion, representing about 1.56 percent of total market capitalization on the first post-Easter holiday transactions.

After the day’s trading, the market capitalization closed at N14.758 trillion compared to N14.992 trillion recorded last Thursday, March 29.

Similarly, the All-Share Index (ASI) which opened at 41,504.51 shed 648.87 points closed at 40,855.64 posted on Thursday.

According to market analysts, the sluggish take off of the market could be attributed to profit taking by some investors as they awaited the outcome of the ongoing Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

An analysis of the market trend reflected that  major blue chip listed company recorded price depreciation. Dangote Cement Plc, having dropped N9 to close at N251 per share, topped the losers’ chart and was followed by Lafarge Africa which posted a loss of N1.85 to close at N43.45.

Guaranty Trust Bank’s share declined by N1.30 to close at N43.40 per share while Forte Oil Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc’s share values depreciated by N1.20 and N1.10 kobo respectively. Forte Oil share closed at N40.80, while Nigeria Breweries’ closed at N28.90 per share.

GlaxosmithKline led the gainers’ chart, gaining 85k to close at N34.85 per share and was trailed by Ecobank Transnational Incorporated which posted 65k gain to close at N17.0 while NASCON gained 50k to close at N21.50 per share.

Also on the gainers’ table are Zenith International Bank whose share appreciated by 50k to close at N29.80, while Caverton gained 24k to close at N2.91 per share.

Despite the decline of the market indices, the volume of shares traded improved as investors bought and sold 365.72 million shares valued at N6.27 billion exchanged in 4,173 deals. This reflected improvement by 34.16 per cent of volume and 68.55 per cent of value.

This contrasted with the 272.61 million shares worth N3.72 billion traded in 4,368 deals last Thursday.

The most active stocks at the end of the day’s trading are, Zenith International Bank which traded 88.19 million shares valued at N2.64 million; Transcorp with 60.01 million shares worth N101.06 million traded.

Sterling Bank traded 40.49 million shares valued at N70.44 million compared to Lasaco Insurance’s traded stocks of 21.03 million worth N7.15 million and ETI which exchanged 19.96 million shares at N339.36 million.


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