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Nigerian shares hit new low as investors lock in gains

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The depth of the profit-taking in the market this week led stocks beyond the low last seen on March 19, when the benchmark index touched 38,382.39, as the market value of shares slid to N19.975 trillion, the lowest point since the year started.
Concerns around the turn-key rates could take when the apex bank’s monetary policy panel meets in the week ahead seem to impel investors to see equity investment as a dreadful path to thread, with stocks losing N601 billion Monday through Friday.
It is probable that the central bank, which held the benchmark rate at its two previous meetings will take a contractionary stance to curb inflation by limiting spending. But that will come at a cost, given that such a policy direction often discourages borrowing (credit is usually needed to fund stock market activities) and stunts economic growth.
All the key market performance indicators declined. Market breadth was negative as 41 laggards emerging against 26 gainers.

The all-share index and market capitalisation simultaneously rose by 2.93 per cent, with the former closing at 38,324.07 points and the latter at N19.975 trillion.
The trade volume of 1.048 billion shares estimated at N11.543 billion was recorded in 17,233 deals. This compared with the 840.334 million shares worth N9.561 billion that were traded in 13,239 deals the week before.
The financial services sector led the activity chart, with 674.741 million shares valued at N5.589 billion and traded in 9,405 deals. It added 64.41 per cent and 48.42 per cent to the total equity volume and value respectively.
The conglomerates industry followed, trading 94.524 million shares estimated at N630.366 million in 828 deals. The ICT sector was third, trading 87.137 million shares priced at N630.903 million in 539 deals.
Regarding index movement, all indices fell except the NSE Oil and Gas, NSE Growth and NSE Sovereign Bond Index which rose by 7.39 per cent, 0.62 per cent, and 3.02 per cent respectively. The NSE ASeM closed flat.

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