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Nigeria’s equity falls N88 bln on BUA, GTCO losses as interbank rates climb

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By Samuel Bankole

Nigeria’s equity market closed on a negative note on Thursday with losses recorded on the shares of BUA Cement for the second day in a row, Stanbic IBTC and GTCO, dragging down the value of the Nigerian Exchange.

Also, on the money market, interbank interest rates claimed further high as tight liquidity prevails in the market ahead of the next week’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting which is expected to hike the benchmark rate.

Most analysts expect the rate-setting committee to hike the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) further in tandem with the global expectation of higher inflation, which may impact on the cost of borrowing in the economy.

With inflation at 20.52 per cent, the MPC is expected to raise the benchmark interest rate by 100 bps to 15 per cent, according to some analysts’ projections on Friday.

Shares in BUA Cement declined 4.49 per cent, followed by Stanbic IBTC which fell 3.33 per cent and GTCO, which dropped by 3.14 per cent.

Also, the shares of Sterling Bank fell 0.67 per cent while Zenith Bank shares declined 0.25 per cent, forcing the value of the market.

The main market index, the All Share Index decreased by 0.33 per cent to close at 49,026.62 points.

The market cap of equities listed on the NGX decreased N88 billion to N26.445 trillion from N26.533 trillion as of the previous close.

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The total volume traded closed with an exchange of 169.182 million units valued at N3.19 billion traded in 3,206 deals.

The market breadth was negative with 11 gainers as against 22 losers.

The NGX 30 Index decreased by 0.37 per cent to close at 1,746.22 points as against 1,752.69 points at the previous close.

Market turnover closed with a traded volume of 68.41 million units. Access and Fidelity were the key gainers, while BUA Cement and Stanbic IBTC were the key losers.

Meanwhile, the money market rate claimed further on Thursday as the Overnight (O/N) rate increased by 0.33 per cent to close at 15.00 per cent as against the last close of 14.67 per cent.

Also, the Open Repo (OPR) rate increased by 0.67 per cent to close at 14.83 per cent as against the previous close of 14.16 per cent.

At the I&E forex market, the Naira appreciated by 0.04 per cent as the dollar was quoted at N436.33 as against the last close of N436.50.

Traders said most participants maintained bids between N425.00 and N438.00 per dollar.

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