The Nigerian equities market extended its bearish run to the third consecutive trade Thursday with sell-offs in banking stocks – ZENITH (-1.6%), GUARANTY (-0.9%), ACCESS (-3.4%) and UBA (-2.0%) – dragging benchmark index, the NSEASI, down 0.07 percent to close 37,226.44 points.
Consequently, year-to-date (YTD) loss worsened to 2.7 percent. Market capitalization fell by N9.7 billion to close the day at N13.5 trillion.
However, activity level was mixed as volume traded decreased by 7.8 percent to 263.0 million units while value traded increased by 10.0 percent to N4.1 billion.
ACCESS (42.9m), ZENITH (40.8m) and SOVERNINS (33.8m) were the most traded stocks by volume while ZENITH (N1.0bn), INTBREW (N0.8bn) and UNILEVER (N0.7bn) were the most traded stocks by value.
Performance across sectors remained mixed as two of five indices closed higher. Specifically, the industrial goods index rose 0.5 percent due to bargain hunting in DANGCEM (+0.9%) and WAPCO (+1.8%) while the consumer goods index gained 0.1 percent following buy interest in INTBREW (+5.6%) and UNILEVER (+0.3%).
On the flip side, the banking index led losers, shedding 1.4 percent on the back of sell-offs in ZENITH (-1.6%), GUARANTY (-0.9%), ACCESS (-3.4%) and UBA (-2.0%). Similarly, the insurance and oil & gas indices declined 1.1% and 0.6% respectively due to continued profit taking in CUSTODIAN (-3.8%) and FORTE (-7.4%).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 0.5x from 0.7x recorded yesterday as 15 stocks advanced against 30 stocks that declined.
The day’s best performing stocks were CUSTODIAN (+8.5%), INTBREW (+5.6%) and MULTIVERSE (+5.0%) while the worst performing stocks were BETAGLAS (-10.0%), TANTALIZER (-9.1%) and MCNICHOLS (-9.0%).
Despite the trade trajectory, analysts still expect to see some late bargain hunting in the market, albeit, insufficient to upturn market performance. They therefore see continuation of trading trend Friday.