Trading at the Nigerian Stock Exchange was rocked by intense bear run on Wednesday, May 4, as investors sought to take profit on many highly capitalized stocks that had driven the recent rallies.
While the underlying sentiments remained positive with more gainers than losers, losses suffered by the highly capitalised stocks overshadowed the overall market position.
The two main common indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated average decline of 0.58 per cent, equivalent to a loss of N51 billion after the close of trading.
There were 26 gainers to 19 losers. Analysts at FSDH Securities, Cowry Asset Management and Afrinvest Securities agreed that the negative overall market position was due to profit-taking on the leading stocks. The major losers included Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, which dropped by 5.2 per cent; Forte Oil, which dropped by 1.8 per cent; Dangote Cement, which lost 1.5 per cent; PZ Cussons Nigeria, which declined by 5.0 per cent and Fidson Healthcare, which lost 4.9 per cent..
Total turnover was above recent average with the exchange of 330.56 million shares valued at N2.26 billion in 4,053 deals. Banking stocks continued to dominate activities chart. The three most active stocks were FBN Holdings, with 117 million shares; United Bank for Africa, 33.19 million shares and Fidelity Bank, with 32.83 billion shares.
“Today’s performance was broadly driven by profit taking which may be sustained tomorrow in the absence of any market moving news flow, however we expect a positive close for the week,” Afrinvest Securities stated.