By Emmanuel Aziken, with agency reports
The equity market responded negatively on Wednesday to President Muhammadu Buhari’s October 1 economic initiatives with a 1.14 percentage slide in the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s All Share Index.
President Buhari had in a desperate move to energise the economy announced the release of N600 billion from the capital side of the 2019 budget.
The move was, however, received with skepticism by some economists who viewed it as too little and too late.
“Three months to the end of the year you want to release N600 billion, what magic are you going to do,” one analyst said.
Such releases had in more often in the past been mopped by civil servants into their pockets.
The negative sentiment inevitably led to a lull in the equities market on the first day of trading following the Independence Day holiday.
Specifically, the All Share Index (ASI) decreased by 315.69 points or 1.14 per cent to close at 27,314.87 compared with 27,630.56 posted on Monday.
Also, the market capitalisation of listed equities declined by N154 billion to close at N13.296 trillion from N13.450 trillion reported on Monday.
The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Mobil Nigeria, Total Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries, Guaranty Trust Bank and MRS Oil Nigeria.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited maintained its bearish stance for the market, although the current low prices of stocks present opportunities for bargain hunting.
Market breadth closed negative, with 11 gainers against 24 losers.
Fidson Healthcare led the losers’ chart in percentage terms dropping by 10 per cent to close at N4.05 per share.
Africa Prudential followed with a decline of 9.97 per cent to close at N3.52, while Ecobank Transnational dropped by 9.94 to close at N7.25 per share.
MRS Oil Nigeria lost 9.84 per cent to close at N16.95, while Conoil shed 9.82 per cent to close at N15.15, per share.
Conversely, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent, to close at 44k per share.
Continental Reinsurance came second with a gain 9.66 per cent to close at N2.27, while Associated Bus Company rose by 8.82 per cent to close at 37k per share.
Wapic Insurance appreciated by 5.88 per cent to close at 36k, while Honeywell Flour Mills appreciated by 5.26 per cent to close at N1 per share.
The investors traded a turnover of 175.78 million shares worth N2.57 billion in 3539 deals.
This was against 194.79 million shares valued at N3.06 billion which exchanged hands in 2,910 deals on Monday.
Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank topped the activity chart with a total of 25.29 million shares valued at N684.18 million.
Transcorp followed with a turnover of 20.76 million shares worth N21.18 million, while NASCON Allied Industries traded 20.01 million shares valued at N274.08 million.
FBN Holdings sold 17.39 million shares worth N94.28 million, while Access Bank transacted 10.61 million shares valued at N80.17 million.