Nigerian stocks headed back to the negative territory on Thursday as the benchmark index contracted 0.43 per cent after a momentary recovery at the previous session.
Investors took to dumping financial services stocks just a day after their buy interest in the same set of equities lifted the broad index for the first in one week even though the upward movement could hardly pass for a rise. GTCO, Zenith and NGX Group led the retreat.
Thursday’s slide marks the weakest level reached by Nigerian stocks since January 31, and the new low is the culmination of a liquidity squeeze that has set daily transaction volume on a free fall lately, more evident in the 20 per cent drop on Thursday alone.
“This week, we expect to see the last of Q1 rallies as investors will purchase stocks for remaining on the register for dividend payments,” said analysts at broker United Capital in an outlook note for this week seen by PREMIUM TIMES.
“However, we expect the equity market to trade relatively sideways in the coming week,” they added.
Market breadth, an indicator of investor sentiment towards trade, was positive as 16 advancers were reported relative to 15 losers.
The all-share index edged down 202.32 basis points to 46,961.62, while market capitalisation dwindled to N25.3 trillion.
Year to date, the index is down by 9.9 per cent.
TOP FIVE GAINERS
Veritas Kapital led gainers, appreciating by 9.52 per cent to close at N0.23. FCMB grew by 7.46 per cent to end trade at N3.60. Custodian went up by 7.14 per cent to N7.50. Oando rose to N5, notching up 6.38 per cent in the process. GSK completed the top 5, climbing up by 6.06 per cent to N0.70.
TOP FIVE LOSERS
GTCO declined by 11.54 per cent to close at N23. RT Briscoe fell to N0.65, losing 9.72 per cent in the process. Consolidated Hallmark dipped to N0.60, recording 9.09 per cent depreciation. Sterling Bank shed 3.80 per cent to end trade at N1.52. Flour Mills closed at N31, going down by 3.12 per cent.
TOP 5 TRADES
A total of 214.7 million shares estimated at N2.6 billion were traded in 4,003 deals.
Transcorp traded 48.3 million shares worth N157.3 million in 228 deals. GTCO shares of 26.1 million units, priced at 607 million, exchanged hands in 689 transactions. Zenith Bank had 20.2 million shares valued at N540.4 million traded in 513 deals. UBA traded 18.3 million shares estimated at N139.7 million in 170 transactions. Custodian Investment traded 17.5 million shares valued at N210 million in 16 deals.
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