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Stock market index plunges further by 0.02% amid persistent lull

Continuous price depreciation in the shares of most blue chip companies, yesterday, dragged the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All Share Index (ASI) by 0.02 per cent.
Specifically, at the close of transactions, the market capitalisation shed N3billion to close at N13.117 trillion. The ASI shed 7.41 absolute points, or 0.02 per cent to close at 29,765.31 points.Thursday’s performance was influenced by profit-taking in medium and large capitalised stocks, among which were, Forte Oil, MTN Nigeria, C&I Leasing, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, and Zenith Bank.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited, stated: “We expect investors to cautiously take positions in fundamentally sound stocks trading at attractive prices and offering high dividend yields as we approach H1: 2019 earnings season.”

Similarly, APT Securities and Funds Limited, said: “We retain our cautious trading advice in the short run. However, accumulation of fundamentally justified and dividend paying stocks for mid to long term is recommended.”Market breadth was positive with 25 gainers against 14 losers. Lafarge Africa recorded the highest price gain of 9.95 per cent to close at N10.50 per share.

Linkage Assurance followed with 8.93 per cent to close at 61 kobo, while Thomas Wyatt Nigeria rose 8.82 per cent to close at 37 kobo, per share.AXA Mansard Insurance gained 8.38 per cent to close at N1.94, and NEM Insurance 8.16 per cent to close at N2.65, per share.

On the other hand, C&I Leasing led the losers’ chart with 10 per cent to close at N5.67 per share.Forte Oil followed with 9.96 per cent to close at N31.20, while Wapic Insurance fell 8.89 per cent to close at 41 kobo, per share.

Courteville Business Solutions shed 8.70 per cent to close at 21 kobo, and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals 7.14 per cent to close at 52 kobo, per share.Meanwhile, a total turnover of 275.49 million shares worth N3.91 billion in 3,977 deals were traded by investors on the floor of the Exchange. Sterling Bank traded 54.96 million shares valued at N131.91 million.

Lafarge Africa followed with 32.44 million shares worth N340.63 million, while Access Bank traded 26.93 million shares at N185.11 million.Guaranty Trust Bank traded 25.84 million shares valued at N801.3 million, while Zenith Bank transacted 19.87 million shares worth N398.9 million.