The local bourse closed in the red for the second consecutive session, with stocks drifting lower by N55.8 billion in losses and ending the month of August in bearish performance on the back of sell-offs in Zenith Bank (-1.0%), Wema Bank (-4.4%), the Livestock Company (-9.8%) and GTCO (-0.55%).
Accordingly, the All-Share Index fell 0.27 percent to 39,219.61 points with the market year to date loss worsening to -2.6 percent while market capitalisation declined to N20.35 trillion from N20.41 trillion.
In contrast, the activity level intensified as the volume and value traded rose 41.4 percent and 28.1 percent to 425.7 million units and N2.0 billion. The most traded stocks in terms of volume were Transnational Corporation (111.1m units), Chams Plc (57.5m units), and Honeywell Flour (31.6m units) while Zenith Bank (N243.6m), MTN Nigeria (N209.2m), and Guaranty Trust Holding Company (N190.3m) led by value.
Despite the unrelenting sell-offs, market analysts anticipate that investors will position for the half-year dividends which should spur positive traction in subsequent sessions. More so, some banks are yet to release their half-year result, which should lift the mood of the bourse upon publication.
However, the market performance was bearish across the sectoral fronts as the industrial goods and ICT indices closed flat. The consumer goods index led laggards, down 1.9 percent due to sell-offs in Dangote Sugar (-0.8%), Flour Mills (-0.5%), and International Breweries (-1.1%). In the same way, the oil & gas and banking indices were down by 0.4 percent apiece, on account of price depreciation in Oando Plc (-2.9%), Zenith Bank (-1.0%), and Wema Bank (-4.4%).
And profit-taking in Aiico Insurance (-3.9%) and Coronation Insurance (-3.9%) dragged the insurance index lower by 0.3 percent.
Investors’ sentiment, as measured by market breadth weakened to 0.6x from 1.1x recorded in the previous session as 15 stocks gained while 26 stocks lost. Transnational Corporations Hotels (+10.0%), Honeywell Flour (+9.7%), and Morrison Industries (+9.7%) led the gainers, while Nigerian Breweries (-9.9%), the Livestock Company (-9.8%), and Lagos State Assurance Company (-9.7%) led the losers’ chart.