By Habibat Aliu
After several days of upbeat, the Nigerian equities market halted its bullish streak to reopen the month of March on a downturn yesterday, as investors’ fortune declined by N162 billion.
Specifically, at the close of transactions yesterday, the All Share Index (ASI) fell by 297.65 absolute points, representing a decrease of 0.53 per cent to close at 55,508.61 points. Accordingly, investors lost N162 billion in value as market capicapitalizationlined to N30.239 trillion.
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Airtel Africa, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), United Capital, Lafarge Africa, and UAC of Nigeria (UACN).
Analysts noted that the market has rallied significantly in consecutive months, raising fears of an over-extended market.
United Capital said: “We expect sustained bullish sentiments as we anticipate downbeat money market yields till Q2, 2023. Technical indicators point to a more significant downside potential for equities. We consider buying equities a ‘riskier’ rather than a ‘wrong’ strategy while favouring reducing portfolio exposures as the ideal approach. Equity stakeholders can look to book profits off stocks that have crossed the overbought region, as the RSI indicates.”
However, market breadth closed positive as 30 stocks gained relative to 12 decliners. Veritas Kapital Assurance recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent to close at 22 kobo, per share. Ardova Plc (AP) followed with a gain 9.76 per cent to close at N18.55, while Wema Bank gained 8.75 per cent to close at N4.35, per share.
The Initiates Plc (TIP) appreciated by 8.33 per cent to close at 52 kobos, while Geregu Power gained 8.20 per cent to close at N298.10 kobo. Geregu added 8.20 kobo to close at N298.10. Sunu Assurance garnered 8.11 per cent to close at 40 kobos. Chams advanced by 7.69 per cent to close at 28 kobos. Oando appreciated by 6.25 per cent to close at N5.10 kobo. UPDC gained 6.25 per cent to close at N1.02 kobo. Buafoods also added 5.56 per cent to close at N95.
On the other hand, John Holt led the losers’ chart by 9.66 per cent to close at N1.59, per share. ETI followed with a decline of 7.69 per cent to close at N12.00, while Airtel Africa declined by 5.25 per cent to close at N1,535.00, per share.
United Capital shed 3.91 per cent to close at N14.75, while FTN Cocoa processors shed 3.45 per cent to close at 28 kobos, per share.
Meanwhile, the total volume of trades rose by 138.57 percent to 565.823 million units, valued at N6.579 billion, and exchanged in 4,340 deals.
Transactions in the shares of Capital Hotel topped the activity chart with 333.236 million shares valued at N2.333 billion. Transnational Corporation followed with 47.893 million shares worth N67.002 million, while Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) traded 46.626 million shares valued at N1.258 billion.
Oando traded 19.977 million shares valued at N102.326 million, while Access Holdings transacted 19.417 million shares worth N186.210 million.