The bearish sentiment in Nigeria’s equities market persisted Thursday as sell pressures in bellwethers – GUARANTY (-2.7%), DANGCEM (-0.4%), STANBIC (-2.6%) and ZENITH (-1.6%) led the All-Share Index (ASI) to decline by 0.77 percent to 35,086.67 points.
The year-to-date loss consequently worsened to -8.3 percent while market capitalization fell by N99.4 billion to N12.8 trillion.
Activity level however, was mixed as volume traded declined 17.5 percent to 284.6 million units while value traded rose 51.9 percent to N3.4 billion respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were UBA (57.1m), NEM (45.3m) and ACCESS (30.7m) while NIGERIAN BREWERIES (N1.0bn), GUARANTY (N0.6bn) and UBA (N0.5bn) were the top traded stocks by value.
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Across sectors, performance was largely bearish as 4 of 5 indices closed south. The industrial goods index led decliners, down 2.3 percent, as investor took profits in DANGCEM (-0.4%) and WAPCO (-7.1%). In addition, the Banking index fell 1.8%, following sell pressures in GUARANTY (-2.7%), STANBIC (-2.6%) and ZENITH (-1.6%) while the insurance and oil & gas indices lost 1.5% and 0.8% respectively on the back of investors’ exit in CONTINSURE (-4.1%), PRESTIGE (-8.8%), FORTE (-7.8%) and OANDO (-2.8%). On the flipside, the Consumer Goods index – today’s sole gainer – rose 0.2%, following price appreciations in GUINNESS (+5.6%) and HONEYFLOUR (+1.3%).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) further weakened to 0.4x from 1.9x recorded Wednesday as 11 stocks advanced against 27 decliners.
The best performers were NEM (+10.0%), LIVESTOCK (+9.3%) and JAPUALOIL (+8.0%) while MANSARD (-9.8%), INTENEGINS (-9.5%) and DIAMOND (-9.4%) were the laggards.
Analysts at Afrinvest affirm that the day’s bearish performance was largely due to profit taking in bellwethers and market reaction to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) fine on listed Nigerian banks STANBIC (-2.6%) and DIAMOND (-9.4%).
The analysts expressed optimism of an upturn in Friday’s trading as investors would likely take positions in bellwethers with attractive entry price.