The Nigerian bourse extended losses to the fourth consecutive trading session Wednesday as benchmark index, the NSEASI shed 1.1 percent to close at 40,802.08 points, bringing year-to-date (YTD) return further down to 6.7 percent.
This bearish trade was mostly influenced by sell-offs in large caps including DANGCEM (-0.8%), GUARANTY (-2.0%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-0.1%). To this end, market capitalisation lost N159.4 billion to close at N14.7 trillion.
Market activity level was mixed as volume traded rose 51.6 percent to 535.0 million units while value traded dropped 11.7 percent to N3.7 billion. The top traded stocks by volume were CHAMPION (153.9m), SKYEBANK (104.7m) and STERLING (41.2m) while GUARANTY (N531.3m), CHAMPION (N397.1m) and ZENITH (N396.2m) were the top traded stocks by value.
Sector performance was largely bearish as most indices closed in the red. The banking index lost the most, down by 3.4 percent due to sell offs in GUARANTY (-2.0%), ETI (-4.4%) and UBA (-2.5%) followed by the industrial goods index, which shed 2.6 percent on the back of price depreciation in DANGCEM (-0.8%) and WAPCO (-4.7%).
Similarly, the insurance index declined 0.3 percent, dragged by losses in WAPIC (-3.4%) and MBENEFIT (-5.4%) while the oil & gas index slid 3bps following losses in TOTAL (-0.7%). On the flipside, the consumer goods index was the lone gainer, inching 0.3 percent higher due to buy interest in UNILEVER (+4.9%) and PZ (+4.6%).
Investor sentiment measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) waned to 0.6x from 0.7x recorded in the previous session as 18 stocks advanced relative to 29 stocks that declined.
GLAXOSMITH (+10.0%), WEMABANK (+9.4%) and ETERNA (+5.6%) were the best performing stocks while JAPAULOIL (-8.5%), MBENEFIT (-5.4%) and FIDSON (-5.0%) depreciated the most.
Despite the prolonged bearish performance, analysts remain optimistic of a rebound in the near term as they predict the possibility of increased bargain hunting in the final trading day of the week prior to the Easter Holidays.