Nigerian stocks retreat for fourth day as funds chase securities promising higher yields

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Nigerian stocks slipped for fourth straight trading day Tuesday by 0.39 per cent, in a rout led by blue-chip bank stocks as there were no hints yet as to when the gloomy climate over a market that lost N624 billion in the year to March would end.

Yields in the fixed income market are healing after taking a blow from two benchmark rate cuts by the central bank last year, and investors are betting on government bonds, which offer a low-risk payout when compared with stocks.

“The market will be bearish in the first half, and after this result season we expect a further depression because there will be no further catalysts,” Ayodeji Ebo, retail investment lead at broker Chapel Hill Denham told Bloomberg.

“If I can get a one-year Treasury bill at 7% now, why will I take a risk of 8 or 9%?”

The banking index contracted 1.67 per cent to 350.36 basis points, with top-tier lenders GTB and Zenith Bank worst hit.

Market breadth was negative as 21 losers emerged compared to 14 gainers.

The all-share index slipped 150.13 basis points to 38,766.61, while market capitalisation closed lower at N20.283 trillion.

TOP FIVE GAINERS

Eterna led gainers, appreciating by 9.91 per cent to close at N5.99. Linkage Assurance rose to N0.79, notching up 9.72 per cent in the process. Royal Exchange added 9.09 per cent to end today’s trade at N0.36. Japaul Gold went up by 8.89 per cent to N0.49. FCMB completed the top 5, climbing by 4.59 per cent to N2.96.

ALSO READ: NSE: Increasing profit-taking in bank stocks drive N67bn retreat

TOP FIVE LOSERS

MRS led losers, declining by 9.92 per cent to close at N10.90. Aluminium Extrusion shed 9.88 per cent to close at N7.30. Consolidated Hallmark Insurance fell to N0.29, losing 9.38 per cent. Sterling Bank slumped to N1.69, recording 8.65 per cent depreciation. Guinness closed at N33, going down by 8.08 per cent.

TOP FIVE TRADES

Altogether, 224.594 million shares estimated at N2.143 billion were traded in 4,675 deals.

UACN was the most active stock with 34.049 million units of its shares worth N337.607 million traded in 546 deals.

Access traded 26.347 million shares priced at N214.930 million exchanged hands in 376 transactions. FBN Holdings had 18.932 million shares valued at N137.435 million traded in 138 deals.

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Zenith Bank traded 16.587 million shares estimated at N364.335 million in 396 transactions. Fidelity Bank traded 15.305 million shares valued at N39.151 million in 151 deals.

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