Interest rate retention: All-Share index drops further by 0.26%

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index on Wednesday maintained downward slide, dropping further by 0.26 per cent, just as the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) retained interest rate at 14 per cent.

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The index shed 105.78 points or 0.26 per cent to close at 40,749.86 against 40,855.64 achieved on Tuesday. Similarly, the market capitalisation, which opened at N14.758 trillion, lost N18 billion to close at N14.740 trillion.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) MPC members unanimously, at the first meeting for the year, decided to hold the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 per cent. NAN reports that some financial experts expected reduction in benchmark interest rate, while some expressed optimism that the rate would be retained to further monitor inflation rate.

Market watchers attributed the downward trend to investors’ concern about trade dispute between U.S and China, which could create uncertainty for frontier market. A breakdown of the price movement table indicated that Mobil Oil recorded the highest loss for the day, shedding N2 to close at N183 per share.

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Dangote Flour trailed with a loss of N1.45 to close at N13.75, while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated declined by 65k to close at N16.35 per share. Flour Mills depreciated by 50k to close at N38.80, while NASCON decreased by 50k to close at N21 per share.

On the other hand, Forte Oil led the gainers’ table during the day, gaining N1.10 to close at N41.90 per share. Stanbic IBTC followed with a gain of N1 to close at N49, while Guaranty Trust Bank gained 90k to close at N44.30 per share.

Lafarge Africa increased by 55k to close at N44, while Access Bank also added 55k to close at N11.80 per share. FBN Holdings was the most active stock in volume terms, exchanging 70.76 million shares worth N863.58 million.

Zenith International Bank followed an exchange of 61.23 million shares valued at N1.67 billion, while Fidelity Bank traded 43.70 million shares worth N109.84 million. Access Bank sold 28.92 million shares valued at N332.44 million, while GTBank exchanged 22.90 million shares worth N993.35 million.

In all, a total of 401.41 million shares valued at N6.77 billion were transacted by investors in 5,370 deals. This was in contrast with a turnover of 365.72 million shares worth N6.27 billion traded in 4,173 deals on Tuesday.

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