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Nigeria’s stock falls N313 bln ahead of gubernatorial election as investors take profits

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By Ifeyinwa Ezeokoli

Trading on the nation’s bourse extended its losing streak for the fifth consecutive session on Thursday, with the market capitalisation dropping further by N313 billion as investors continued to take profits.

Accordingly, the market capitalisation closed lower at N29.916 trillion.

Similarly, the All-Share Index (ASI) fell by 574.59 points, representing a decrease of 1.04 percent, to close at 54,915.61.

Consequently, the month-to-date and year-to-date returns stood at -1.6 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalized stocks, amongst which are MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN), Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Industrial & Medical Gases Nigeria, United Capital, and Dangote Sugar Refinery.

On the market outlook, analysts at GTI Securities said, “Investors continue to pick safe stocks ahead of election uncertainties. We expect this negative performance to persist in the absence of any other catalyst.”

Market breadth remained negative, with 25 laggards in contrast to eight gainers.

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ETI led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 10 percent to close at N10.80 per share.

Industrial & Medical Gases Nigeria followed with a decline of 9.32 percent to close at N7.30, while Royal Exchange lost 8.22 percent to close at $67 per share.

R.T. Briscoe Nigeria shed 7.69 percent to close at 24K, while International Energy Insurance lost 6.92 percent to close at N1.21 per share.

Conversely, Chams Holding Company topped the gainers’ chart in percentage terms by 8.70 per cent to close at $25 per share.

University Press trailed with 7.57 percent to close at N1.99, while LivingTrust Mortgage Bank gained 3.37 percent to close at N3.07 per share.

Sterling Bank appreciated by 2.67 percent to close at N1.54, while Zenith Bank rose by 2.52 percent to close at N24.45 per share.

Meanwhile, the total volume of trades decreased by 24.23 percent to 137.29 million units valued at N1.51 billion exchanged in 3,489 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Transcorp topped the activity chart with 26.09 million shares valued at N33.98 million.

Zenith Bank followed with 14.72 million shares worth N353.89 million, while Sterling Bank traded 13.23 million shares valued at N20.02 million.

United Bank of Africa traded 10.24 million shares valued at N81.39 million, while Access Holdings transacted 7.63 million shares worth N66.20 million.

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