Nestle, Eterna drag equity market to N51bn loss

The Nigerian Exchange continued a bearish trend in the new week, losing N51bn due to the decline suffered by Nestle Plc, Eterna and Fidson Healthcare Plc.

Nestle Plc, Eterna and Fidson Healthcare Plc dipped by 10 per cent, 9.97 per cent and 9.82 per cent, respectively, to close at N990, N15.80 and N15.15 each.

At the close of trading on Monday, the All-Share Index of the local bourse and market capitalisation depreciated by 0.09 per cent to 101,995.53 and N55.81tn, respectively.

Researchers at Cowry Asset Management Limited had projected that bearish sentiment would continue in the new week as the market sought catalyst and policy direction from economic managers to trigger the positive sentiment.

“However, as we anticipate more corporate releases for the final quarter of 2023, investors will begin to rebalance their portfolio in their search for alpha amidst the rising fixed-income yields and outcome of the monetary policy meeting,” the analysts stated in their market review.

Transaction volume rose marginally by 1.14 per cent to 294.32 million units as the value of transactions rose by 12 per cent to N6.72bn.

The number of deals was also up by 29 per cent to 9,957 compared to the previous day’s figure of 7,710 deals, the number of stocks traded stood at 120.

Sectoral performance was varied as banking led the gainers’ list with a 1.35 per cent increase, fuelled by buying interest in FBN Holdings, JaizBank and Sterling Financial Holdings Plc.

It was followed by the insurance sector, which gained 0.18 per cent.

On the other hand, consumer goods and oil/gas indexes declined by 1.46 per cent and 0.37 per cent, respectively, due to selling pressure observed in Nestle, Dangote Sugar and Eterna Plc.

The industrial goods sector traded flat.

Market sentiments edged positive as reflected in 28 gainers and 26 losers.

The gainers’ chart was led by NASCON Industries with 10 per cent to close at N66; Juli Plc gained 9.83 per cent to close at N2.57 and FBN Holdings, which has been on an upswing, appreciated by 9.68 per cent to close at N34.

Higher yields outlook in the fixed-income market in recent times has seen interest wane on the equity market side.

The market has also witnessed portfolio rebalancing ahead of expected corporate earnings and the outcome of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

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