Unilever, UACN, United Capital emerge top market losers

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Stanley Opara

Unilever Nigeria Plc, UACN Plc, United Capital Plc, Continental Reinsurance Plc and UACN Property Development Company Plc emerged as the top five losers at the close of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

A total of 118.456 million shares valued at N1.798bn were traded in 2,579 deals.

The NSE market capitalisation dropped marginally to N8.738tn from N8.739tn, while the All-Share Index closed at 25,249.74 basis points from 25,251.63 basis points.

The price of Unilever stocks dropped by N1.61 (4.98 per cent) to close at N30.69 from N32.30, while UACN shares also depreciated by N0.65 (4.89 per cent) to close at N12.65 from N13.30.

Similarly, United Capital share price closed at N3.52 from N3.70, losing N0.18 (4.86 per cent), while a drop of N0.05 (4.59 per cent) was seen in the shares of Continental Reinsurance, which closed at N1.04 from N1.09.

UPDC also recorded a loss of N0.09 (4.52 per cent) on its share price, thus closing at N1.90 from N1.99.

The equities market reversed the prior day’s gain, declining by 0.01 per cent at the close of trades on Wednesday, to settle the year-to-date return at -6.05 per cent. There were eight gainers and 19 losers.

 Guinness Nigeria Plc was the top gainer for the day, advancing by 4.59 per cent to close at N64.88. The ticker was followed by Nigerian Breweries Plc, NEM Insurance Company Nigeria Plc, Oando Plc and NPF Microfinance Bank Plc, which appreciated by 3.99 per cent, 2.53 per cent, 2.27 per cent and 1.85 per cent, respectively.

The NSE food/beverage index continued its positive run this week, advancing by 0.88 per cent.  The oil/gas index also advanced by 0.12 per cent at the close of trade. On the other hand, the NSE industrial, insurance and banking indices declined by 0.95 per cent, 0.46 per cent and 0.37 per cent, accordingly.

Commenting on the market performance, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said, “We expect the remaining trading days of the week to be driven by investors taking position on fundamentally justified stocks in anticipation of earnings releases.”

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the news about the Federation Account Allocation Committee’s allocation worth N465.15bn filtered into the market, causing money market rates, open buy-back and overnight rates to decline by 97.50 per cent and 98.33 per cent, respectively. Thus, the average money market rate pegged at 32.25 per cent at the close of Wednesday’s trading session.

Bearish activities dominated the Treasury bills space on the February 21, 2017. The one-month, three-month and six-month instruments recorded yield increases of 1.89 per cent, 1.26 per cent and 0.11 per cent, respectively. Hence, the average Treasury bills yield stood at 17.12 per cent (+1.09 per cent), at the close of Wednesday’s trades.

Bullish sentiments prevailed in the Treasury bonds market, as yields declined across most instruments, save for the July-2021, August-2017 and June-2019 bonds which recorded yield increases of 0.01 per cent, 0.04 per cent and 0.01 per cent, respectively. THerefore, the average bond yield declined by 0.04 per cent, to peg at 16.70 per cent, at the close of trades.

Naira appreciated further at the parallel foreign exchange market, as it increased by 2.18 per cent, to settle at N505/dollar. However, the currency remained flat at the interbank forex market, to close at N305.25/dollar.

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