Yuletide rally wanes as stock market index plunges by 0.21%

•Access, Diamond banks’ shares top gainers’ list
The Yuletide rally seems to be slipping away as yesterday’s transactions reversed gains of previous trading session, causing market capitalisation to depreciate by N23 billion.

Specifically, at the close of transactions yesterday, the All Share Index (ASI) shed 63.73 absolute points, representing a dip of 0.21 per cent to close at 30,609.06 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation shed N23 billion at N11.181 trillion.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Forte Oil, Chemical And Allied Products (CAP), Guaranty Trust Bank, Unilever Nigeria and Lafarge Africa.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said: “In the near term, we expect the equities market to rebound on account of bargain hunting in stocks with attractive entry prices; we however maintain our overall bearish outlook for the market.”

Investdata Research Consulting Limited said the appearance of the Santa Clause rally is dependent on market forces and the move by some listed companies to close the year higher.

“Despite Friday’s marginal rebound on a high transaction volume in the midst of mixed sentiment and positive market breath that signalled the possibility of rally in the last full week before the Christmas festivities, the period under review closed lower.

“It is however dependent on market forces as fund managers and market players position for year end. Also the move by some listed companies to close the year higher may likely impact prices positively.”

Market breadth closed negative with 17 gainers against 20 losers. Diamond Bank recorded the highest price gain of 9.47 per cent, to close at N1.04, per share. Access Bank followed with a gain of 9.40 per cent to close at N8.15, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) rose by 9.24 per cent to close at N17.15, per share.

NPF Microfinance Bank appreciated by 8.51 per cent to close at N1.53, while Fidson Healthcare went up by 7.61 per cent to close at N4.95 per share. On the other hand, Forte Oil led the losers’ chart by 9.96 per cent, to close at N21.70, per share.

Ikeja Hotel followed with a decline 9.63 per cent to close at N1.69, while Wema Bank depreciated by 8.47 per cent to close at 54 kobo, per share.
Linkage Assurance declined by 8.33 per cent to close at 55 kobo, while CAP down by 6.44 per cent to close at N34.85 per share.

Total volume traded declined by 36.68 per cent to 214.96 million units, valued at N1.73 billion, and exchanged in 2,975 deals. The top traded stocks by volume was Diamond Bank with 70.98 million, valued at N72.64 million as investors reacted to the announcement of the bank’s merger with Access bank.

AXA Mansard Insurance followed with 20.03 million shares worth N40.1 million, while FBN Holdings traded 16.52 million shares valued at N120.19 million.

Access Bank traded 13.62 million shares valued at N108.55 million, while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) transacted 12.29 million shares worth N14.18 million.

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