Fears that the heightening political uncertainties may trigger a pull back in the equity market to halt the bullish run witnessed in the past few days became a reality yesterday, as investors lost N31 billion.
Analysts had predicted that the move by government to suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, about three weeks to the Presidential poll would ultimately have a negative impact on investors’ confidence in the market this week.
Specifically, after three consecutive sessions of bargain-hunting, the All-share index Monday, declined by 82.39 absolute points, representing a decrease of 0.26 per cent, to close at 31,344.24 points. Similarly, market capitalisation lost N31 billion to close at N11.688 trillion.
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Berger Paints, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Dangote Flour, and Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Nigeria.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited, said: “In line with our expectation, we experienced some profit-taking in today’s trading session. While we maintain a bearish outlook in the near term, we do not rule out the possibility of bargain-hunting in fundamentally sound stocks.”
Similarly, Investdata Consulting Limited, said: “The possibility of slowdown in position-taking on blue-chip stocks for short term gains has increased; however, gains recorded in the two previous weeks are not sustainable in the near term owing to the elevated risk in the domestic and external markets.
“The ongoing volatility will persist as investors and fund managers reposition their portfolios, with eyes fixed on political space and ahead of full year company earnings position, and post-election market dynamics. These are likely to drive prices north, or south, while determining market direction before or after the presidential election.
“Investors should review their positions in line with their investment goals, strength of the company numbers and act as events unfold in the global and domestic environment. However, we would like to reiterate our advice that investors should go for equities with intrinsic value.”
Further breakdown of yesterday’s transactions showed that market breadth closed negative with 10 gainers against 30 losers. NPF Microfinance Bank recorded the highest price gain of 9.59 per cent to close at N1.60 per share. Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services followed with a gain of 7.41 per cent to close at 29 kobo, while Oando rose 5.15 per cent to close at N5.10 per share.
University Press appreciated by five per cent to close at N2.10, while Total Nigeria rose 4.10 per cent to close at N223.30 per share.
On the other hand, Berger Paints led the losers’ chart with 9.68 per cent to close at N7, while Consolidated Hallmark Insurance followed with 8.57 per cent to close at 32 kobo per share.
McNichols declined 7.69 per cent to close at 36 kobo, while AG Leventis, and Royal Exchange fell 6.45 per cent each to close at 29 kobo, each, per share.
Investors traded a total share volume of 222.69 million valued at N1.84 billion in 4,150 deals. Fidelity Bank traded with 23.77 million shares valued at N56.66 million. UBA followed with 21.89 million shares worth N162.02 million, while Diamond Bank traded 21.21 million shares valued at N48.48 million.
Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) traded 20.84 million shares valued at N26.34 million, while FCMB Groups transacted 20.12 million shares worth N42.47 million.