Nigerian equities lost more grounds Monday with weak investors’ confidence forcing the benchmark index to decline 0.02 per cent, its lowest point since August 9.

Stocks are facing a battle to retain investors’ faith following no significant improvement in half-year financial scorecards of companies across sectors particularly lenders and the dividends they are offering when set beside those from the same period a year ago.

That is coming at a time of more attractive yields in the fixed income market especially a Nigerian Treasury bills auction due this week, which portfolio managers will likely explore with funds bogged down in stocks.

“We expect some bargain hunting on some tickers that experienced selloffs in the previous week. In the medium term, we expect the market to remain choppy,” analysts at Lagos-based investment bank United Capital said in a note.

“Additionally, market participants will be watching the fixed income space closely amid a hike in stop rates at the recent NTB auction.”

Key drivers of Monday’s loss were broad across sectors from real estate to banking and consumer goods, where UPDC, FBN Holdings and Guinness led the retreat.

The bourse posted a negative market breadth as 21 losers emerged compared to 18 gainers.

The all-share index was down 6.16 points at 38,915.62, while the market capitalisation slowed to N20.3 trillion.

Since January, the index has been down 3.36 per cent.

TOP FIVE GAINERS

Morison appreciated 9.37 per cent to N2.10. Sovereign Trust climbed by 8 per cent to N0.27. Linkage Assurance added 5.26 per cent to end trade at N0.60.

Fidelity advanced by 4.35 per cent to N2.40. International Breweries rose to N5, notching up 4.17 per cent in the process.

TOP FIVE LOSERS

SCOA led laggards, declining by 10 per cent to close at N1.17. Academy shed 7.69 per cent to end trade at N0.36.

UPDC fell to N1.51, losing 6.21 per cent. ABC Transport declined to N0.33, recording 5.71 per cent decline. Oando closed at N4.45, going down by 4.09 per cent.

TOP FIVE TRADES

Altogether, 201.1 million shares valued at N2.5 billion were traded in 3,340 deals.

Universal Assurance was the most active stock with 19.4 million of its shares worth N3.9 million traded in 15 deals. Fidelity shares totalling 19.3 million priced changed hands in 192 transactions at a value of N46.5 million.

FBN Holdings had 16.7 million shares valued at N125 million traded in 145 deals. Courteville traded 13.8 million shares estimated at N3.9 million in 5 transactions. Access traded 13.5 million shares valued at N125.1 million in 256 deals.

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