By Charles Abuede
- Investors lost N132.4bn
For the third day in a row, bearish sentiment maintained its hold on the Nigerian bourse as the benchmark index tanked 63 basis points to 40,212.19 points on the back of sell-offs in the top market tickers such as MTN Nigeria (-0.9%), ZENITH Bank (-3.6%), and GTBank (-1.9%). Consequently, the market year to date return turned negative at -0.1 per cent while market capitalisation fell by N132.4 billion to settle at N21.03 trillion from N21.16 trillion the previous day.
Contrarily, market activity level rebounded as volume and value traded improved 74.6 per cent and 79.0 per cent respectively to 426.3 million units and N4.8 billion. The most traded stocks by volume were First Bank Holding (129.8 million units), Zenith Bank (37.7 million units) and Dangote Sugar (37.1 million units) while GTBank (N1.1 billion), First Bank Holding (N949.3 million) and Zenith Bank (N912.0 million) led by value.
Further afield, across the sectors, there was a lacklustre performance as all indices went southward with the banking and insurance indices losing the most, down 2.6 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively, due to declines in Zenith Bank (-3.6%), GTBank (-1.9%) and AXA Mansard (-3.3%).
Similarly, the consumer goods and AFR-ICT indices inched lower by 0.5 per cent apiece as a result of losses in Dangote Sugar (-2.9%) and MTN Nigeria (-0.9%). The oil & gas and industrial goods indices also declined by 0.2 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively, as Oando Plc (-2.6%) and Wapco Plc (1.7%) ticked lower.
Investor sentiment, as measured by market breadth, weakened to 0.3x from the 0.8x recorded previously as 10 stocks gained against 30 losers. RT Briscoe (+10.0%), Cornerstone Insurance (+8.5%) and Royal Exchange (+8.0%) were the top gainers while University Press Limited (-9.1%), CHAMS (-8.3%) and UAC-Property and Real Estate Company (-7.8%) were the top losers.
The NSE 30 Index fell by 0.83 per cent to close at 1,612.94 points as against 1,626.36 points on the previous day. Market turnover closed with a traded volume of 311.01 million units. Custodian and Guinness were the key gainers, while FCMB and UBA were the key losers.
In the foreign exchange market, the local currency lost strength in the parallel FX market as it fell by N1 against the greenback to N477 per dollar from N478 the previous day. Similarly, the pressure at the I&EW eased, with the naira trading at N407.80 per dollar from N410 on the previous session, signifying a day on day gain of N2.20 on one dollar.
In the treasury bills market, trading was flat with the average yield across the curve remaining unchanged at 1.46 per cent. Also average yields across short-term, medium-term, and long-term maturities remained unchanged at 0.57 per cent, 1.45 per cent, and 2 per cent, respectively.
Meanwhile the OMO market closed unchanged, as yields were steady at 6.3 per cent. Notably, the selloffs at the long end of the curve were offset by buying interest along that segment as average yields across short-term, medium-term, and long-term maturities closed flat at 3.82 per cent, 5.53 per cent, and 7.68 per cent, respectively.
THE BOND MARKET
Elsewhere, the bond market closed mildly bearish, with yields up by one basis point to average of 9.3 per cent. Across the curve, the intermediate (+8bps) and long (+1bp) segments were sold down, whereas investors sustained their buying interest at the short end of the market (-7bps). The 17-Mar-27 instrument saw the highest yield increase (+52bps).