ECONOMY Stock Investors Loses N74bn as Inflation Numbers Dampen Mood

It was another awful day for stock investors at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited as the market further declined by 0.13 per cent on Wednesday.

The loss recorded at Customs Street at midweek was influenced by selling pressure, triggered by another rise in the inflation rate in the country.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday disclosed that the average prices of goods and services increased by 33.69 per cent in April 2024 from 33.20 per cent in March 2024.

The soaring inflation rate was attributed to the hike in the prices of food items, which pushed the food inflation to 40.53 per cent in the period under review.

The jump in inflation only signals another tightening of the monetary policies by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) next week, when it meets to decide what the benchmark interest rate should be.

The Governor of the CBN, Mr Yemi Cardoso, recently hinted that the cost of borrowing would remain high until inflation cools.

The inflation numbers on Wednesday spurred traders to further book profit, weakening the All-Share Index (ASI) by 130.56 points at the close of the session to 97,343.42 points from 97,473.98 points, as the market capitalisation declined by N74 billion to N55.058 trillion from N55.132 trillion.

Business Post reports that investor sentiment was poor yesterday as the bourse closed with 30 price losers and 13 price gainers, implying a negative market breadth index.

FTN Cocoa and PZ Cussons lost 10.00 per cent each to sell for N1.44 and N20.25 apiece, Sterling Holdings decreased by 9.89 per cent to N4.01, The Initiates slumped by 9.78 per cent to N2.03, and UAC Nigeria contracted by 9.76 per cent to N13.40.

Conversely, Custodian Investment appreciated by 9.63 per cent to N10.25, International Energy Insurance gained 9.29 per cent to close at N1.53, Sovereign Trust Insurance rose by 7.89 per cent to 41 Kobo, NPF Microfinance Bank soared by 7.10 per cent to N1.96, and Champion Breweries surged by 6.11 per cent to N3.30.

The panic selling at midweek raised the trading volume and value by 15.98 per cent and 22.41 per cent, respectively, while the number of deals retreated by 7.77 per cent.

Investors bought and sold 355.6 million shares worth N7.1 billion in 7,333 deals during the trading day versus the 306.6 million shares worth N5.8 billion transacted in 7,951 deals on Tuesday.

GTCO topped the activity chart with the sale of 71.9 million equities valued at N3.0 billion, Custodian Investors traded 65.5 million stocks for N785.3 million, Access Holdings exchanged 24.2 million shares valued at N416.7 million, Tantalizers transacted 21.3 million equities worth N12.4 million, and Prestige Assurance sold 17.5 million stocks for N9.0 million.


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