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Equities suffer N297 billion loss



Equities suffer N297 billion loss

Equities suffer N297 billion loss

The Nigerian equities market kicked off trading with a significant downturn, witnessing a collective profit-taking spree that resulted in a staggering loss of N297 billion in market value. The decline, fueled by a surge in high-yielding bond issuance by both the federal government and corporations, underscores the growing preference among investors for fixed income securities over equities.

Benchmark indices at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) painted a somber picture, reflecting an average decline of 0.53 percent, translating to a net capital depreciation of N297 billion. Against the backdrop of robust activity in the fixed income market, investors opted to cash in on gains and rebalance their portfolios in favor of debt instruments, anticipating higher returns and mitigating market risks.

Analysts at United Capital highlighted the pivotal role of upcoming economic data, particularly the April 2024 Inflation Report slated for release by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in shaping investor sentiment and market dynamics. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) report is expected to offer valuable insights into inflationary trends, guiding investment decisions and market outlook in the days ahead.

The All Share Index (ASI), the bellwether index tracking all share prices at the NGX, mirrored the overall downturn, sliding from its opening level of 98,233.76 points to close at 97,708.74 points. Similarly, the aggregate market value of quoted equities witnessed a simultaneous decline from its opening figure of N55.562 trillion to settle at N55.265 trillion by the close of trading.

The negative performance was driven by widespread price depreciation across large and medium-capitalized stocks, with notable losers including Seplat Energy, NASCON Allied Industries, PZ Cussons Nigeria, eTranzact International, and United Bank for Africa (UBA). These declines offset gains recorded by select counters, resulting in a ratio of 24 losers to 19 gainers.

Leading the losers’ chart, Seplat Energy endured a 10 percent decline to close at N2,962.30 per share, followed closely by PZ Cussons Nigeria with a drop of 9.91 percent to settle at N25. On the flip side, Tantalizers and The Initiates Plc (TIP) emerged as the top gainers, each recording an 8.70 percent increase to close at 50 kobo and N2.50 per share, respectively.

Market activity witnessed an uptick in momentum, with total turnover surging by 27.51 percent to 439.100 million shares valued at N11.377 billion across 8,607 deals. Notore Chemical Industries dominated the trading landscape, accounting for 74.426 million shares worth N4.652 billion. Access Holdings and Universal Insurance followed closely, with significant trading volumes and value.

As investor sentiment remains tempered by prevailing market conditions and economic uncertainties, stakeholders monitor key indicators and data releases for cues on future market direction. Against a backdrop of evolving macroeconomic trends and regulatory developments, market participants navigate volatility and seek opportunities amid the dynamic investment landscape.

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