Nigerian stocks fell by as much as 1.8 per cent, its sharpest fall since the beginning of the year, after the central bank’s monetary policy team took a hawkish stance, upping the benchmark interest rate to 13 per cent.
The move could heighten the pressure on equities considerably in the near term as the promise of improved yields could lure portfolio managers into selling big volumes of stocks and investing the proceeds in fixed income instruments.
Tuesday’s contractionary decision was taken not so much to tame Nigeria’s galloping inflation as to staunch capital outflow from the economy to offshore havens promising better yields, with Nigerian assets losing their attraction to investors from abroad amid recent rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.
Increasing interest rate is often effective in fighting inflation driven by higher demand, not in tackling inflation induced by high costs and supply chain disruptions, experts say.
UACN, MTN Nigeria and GTCO set the slide in motion, while the Consumer Goods Index took the heaviest hit of the five sector indexes tracked by the index.
Market breadth, which shows the depth of investors’ sentiment towards trade, was negative as there were 39 losers compared to 17 advancers.
The all-share index shrank by 961.9 points to 51,949.6, while market capitalisation closed lower at N28 trillion.
The index has been up by 21.6 per cent since the start of the year.
TOP FIVE GAINERS
Japaul led gainers, appreciating by 10 per cent to close at N0.33. Industrial and Medical Gas went up 9.89 per cent to N10.
MRS rose to N16.40, notching up 9.70 per cent in the process. Abbey Building Society added 9.09 per cent to end trade at N1.80. Academy completed the top 5, climbing by 8.15 per cent to N1.46.
TOP FIVE LOSERS
Guinness was the worst performing stock, declining by 10 per cent to close at N88.20. Global Sectrum Energy shed 9.77 per cent to close at N2.77.
Mansard fell to N2.04, losing 9.73 per cent. WAPIC dipped to N0.21, recording 8.70 per cent depreciation. Veritas Kapital closed at N0.21, going down by 8.70 per cent.
TOP FIVE TRADES
A total of 720.2 million shares estimated at N8.9 billion were traded today in 6,096 deals.
ETI traded 257.6 million units of its shares worth N3 billion traded in 77 deals. Jaiz Bank had 78 million shares, priced at N69.7 million exchange hands in 77 transactions. Access Corporation traded 60.5 million shares valued at N605 million in 284 deals.
UACN traded 52.2 million shares estimated at N673.1 million in 79 transactions. Transcorp traded 31.4 million shares valued at N39.7 million in 205 deals.
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