The bearish run in the Nigerian equities market extended to the fourth trading session Thursday, paring market capitalization by N110 billion in the four trading sessions to close N14.820 trillion from an opening of N14.930 trillion Monday.
The sustained profit taking at the Nigerian bourse equally dragged benchmark index, the NSEASI, by 40bps to settle at 40,914.94 points while YTD return further weakened to 7.0 percent.
On the day equities value fell by N59.8 billion on profit-taking in bellwethers – DANGCEM (-1.2%), SEPLAT (-3.3%) and GUARANTY (-1.1%).
Activity level weakened as volume and value traded fell 28.2 percent and 56.1 percent to 244.9 million units and N4.1 billion respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were ZENITH (79.3bn), ACCESS (19.9m) and UBA (19.0m) while ZENITH (N2.2bn), CAP (N356.4m) and ACCESS (N225.0m) were the top traded stocks by value.
Sector performance was largely bearish as three of five indices under watch trended southwards as market statistics from the NSE showed investors’ preference was turned against the banking, consumer goods as well as the oil and gas stocks.
The oil & gas index led laggards, down 1.8 percent on the back of losses in SEPLAT (-3.3%) and FORTE (-2.1%). In the same vein, the consumer goods and banking indices shed 0.1 percent and 0.02 percent respectively due to profit taking in DANGSUGAR (-1.1%), NASCON (-2.9%), DANGFLOUR (-0.9%), GUARANTY (-1.1%) and WEMA (-4.6%).
On the flipside, the industrial goods index trended northwards, inching 0.1 percent higher due to gains in CCNN (+10.0%) and CAP (+4.9%) offsetting profit taking in DANGCEM (-1.2%) while the Insurance index rose 0.02 percent, as a result of gains in LINKASSURE (+4.6%), LASACO (+5.1%) and EQUTYASU (+3.6%).
Investor sentiment measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) strengthened, albeit still soft, to 0.9x from 0.8x recorded in the preceding trading session as 22 stocks closed in the green as against 26 stocks that declined.
The top gainers were CCNN (+10.0%), VERITASKAP (+5.4%) and LASACO (+5.1%) while NIGERINS (-7.4%), FIDSON (-5.0%) and MAYBAKER (-4.9%) declined the most.
Despite the market’s negative performance, analysts still anticipate a rebound in the market in the last trading session of the week due to bargain hunting opportunities in large cap stocks.