The Nigerian equities market opened the week on a bearish note as United Bank of Africa Plc, Learn Africa Plc and C & I Leasing Plc emerged as the top three losers.
The NSE market capitalisation dropped to N13.552tn on Monday from N13.672tn recorded on Friday as 350.595 million shares worth N4.915bn exchanged hands in 4,884 deals.
UBA, Learn Africa and C&I Leasing shares depreciated respectively by five per cent, five per cent and 4.9 per cent, respectively.
The All-Share Index fell 88 basis points to 38,913.99 points while the year-to-date return retreated to 44.8 per cent. Consequently, investors lost N119.6bn in value as market capitalisation closed at N13.552tn.
The market performance could be primarily attributed to profit taking in bellwether industrial goods and banking stocks – Dangote Cement Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and UBA, which slumped respectively by 1.7 per cent, 3.3 per cent and five per cent.
Commenting on the market performance, analysts at Afrinvest Securities said, “In line with our expectation, market performance was negative as investors booked profit in large-cap stocks which rallied the previous week. Nonetheless, we maintain a positive outlook in the near term as fund managers return to strategic weightings during year-end rebalancing cycle.”
The banking index led the laggards, down by two per cent on the back of losses in Zenith Bank, UBA and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. The industrial goods index followed, depreciating by 1.4 per cent, primarily on the back of profit taking in Dangote Cement Plc and Lafarge Africa Plc, which dropped by 1.7 per cent and 1.2 per cent, accordingly.
Similarly, selling pressures on NEM Insurance Plc and Linkage Assurance Plc, which shed 3.9 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively, dragged the insurance index by 1.1 per cent lower.
However, the oil/gas and consumer goods indices gained 1.1 per cent and 0.7 per cent, respectively as Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, Total Nigeria Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc and Flour Mills Nigeria Plc enjoyed buy interest and appreciated respectively by 9.5 per cent, 0.9 per cent, 3.5 per cent and 6.4 per cent.
A total of 13 stocks advanced against 28 stocks that declined, and the top-performing stocks were Mobil, Nascon Allied Industries Plc and Neimeth Pharmaceuticals International Plc, which gained 9.5 per cent, five per cent and 4.3 per cent, respectively.