By Ifeyinwa Ezeokoli
In the last trading session of the week, Nigerian equities on Thursday maintained the bearish trend with a decline of N14 billion ahead of the Easter celebration.
The All-Share Index (ASI) fell by 24.84 points, representing a decline of 0.05 percent, to close at 52,994.13.
Accordingly, investors lost N14 billion in value as market capitalization declined to N28.869 trillion.
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium- and large-capitalized stocks, amongst which are Dangote Sugar Refinery, Eterna, Guaranty Trust Holding Company, Lafarge Africa, and University Press.
Looking ahead, United Capital Plc said, “We retain a positive outlook for the equity market in Q2 2023.”
On one end, our prognosis hinges on our expectation for a depressed yield environment in the fixed-income market, buoyed by the excess maturities (c.N2.0tn) expected in Q2-2022.
“On the other end, we expect investors’ risk-on sentiment to be bolstered by strong corporate performance, an impressive dividend yield (particularly as the dividend payment season is already underway), and improving economic growth prospects.
“For equity-vested fund managers, we recommend cherry-picking equities with solid fundamentals and a high dividend yield.”
The market breadth was negative, as 18 stocks lost relative to nine gainers.
University Press led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 10 percent to close at N1.80 per share.
Wapic Insurance followed with a decline of 6.98 percent to close at 40k, while Eterna declined by 5.98 percent to close at N5.50 per share.
FTN Cocoa Processors declined 3.57 percent to close at 27K, while Regency Alliance Insurance shed 3.33 percent to close at 29K per share.
AIICO Insurance drove the gainers’ chart in percentage terms with 5.26 percent to close at 60k per share.
Academy Press followed with a gain of 4.65 percent to close at N1.35 and Chams was up by 4.35 percent to close at 24k per share.
United Bank for Africa rose by 2.40 percent to close at N8.55, while Champion Breweries gained two percent to close at N5.10 per share.
However, the total volume traded increased by 35.28 percent to 266.95 million units, valued at N1.93 billion, exchanged in 3,651 deals.
Transcorp topped the activity chart with 147.15 million shares valued at N205.69 million.
Zenith Bank followed with 19.11 million shares worth N487.11 million, while United Bank for Africa traded 18.02 million shares valued at N152.39 million.
Access Holdings traded 12.12 million shares valued at N108.87 million, while AXA Mansard Insurance transacted 7.35 million shares worth N16.27 million.