The performance of Nigerian stocks Thursday was again bearish as investors continued to book profit in some large-cap stocks, including FBNH (-4.5%), ZENITH (-0.6%) and MOBIL (-5.7%), which pared benchmark index, the NSEASI, by 0.19 percent to close lower at 36,232.66 points.
Consequently, year-to-date loss deteriorated to -5.3 percent while market capitalization decreased by N21.3 billion to close at N13.2 trillion.
However, activity level strengthened on the day as volume and value of stocks traded increased 65.2 percent and 76.9 percent to 188.3 million units and N1.3 billion respectively. The most traded stocks by volume were UBA (27.3m), LAWUNION (25.0m) and ZENITH (19.9m) while ZENITH (N471.4m), UBA (N260.2m) and GUARANTY (N158.8m) led by value.
Performance across sectors under coverage was bearish for the second consecutive day as four of five indices closed lower. The insurance index, the day’s biggest loser fell 1.2 percent following profit taking in LINKASSU (-10.0%) and LAWUNION (-10.0%).
Similarly, the oil & gas, and banking indices lost 0.7 percent and 0.1 percent respectively on account of sustained sell pressures in MOBIL (-10.0%), ZENITH (-0.6%) and FIDELITY (-3.7%). On the other hand, the industrial goods index closed flat while the consumer goods index, the only gainer, advanced 0.1 percent, as buy interest in INTBREW (+1.6%) lifted the index.
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) declined to 0.6x from 1.2x recorded previously as 12 stocks rose against 22 that declined.
The best performing stocks were COURTVILLE (+10.0%), STERLING (+9.6%) and NIGERINS (+8.3%) while JAPAULOIL (-10.0%), VERITASKAP (-10.0%) and LAWUNION (-10.0%) were the worst performing stocks.
Analysts are projecting a reversal in market performance for Friday, being the close of trading for the week, as they see investors seeking bargain-hunting opportunities following a 5-day bearish performance.