The bears resurfaced at the Nigerian bourse Tuesday with benchmark index, NSEASI, closing lower by 0.60 percent to 37,421.01 points, as selloffs across sectors dominated the day’s trade.
Consequently, month-to-date and year-to-date losses increased to -2.24 percent and -2.15 percent respectively. This is just as market capitalization lost N82.2 billion to close at N13.6 trillion.
The persistent sell pressures in market bellwethers – GUARANTY (-3.4%), WAPCO (-5.9%), SEPLAT (-2.3%) and NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-1.0%) influenced the direction of trading.
Despite the bearish performance, activity level strengthened as volume and value traded advanced 40.0 percent and 88.9 percent respectively to 211.6 million units and N3.8 billion respectively.
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ZENITH (39.9m), FBNH (21.7m) and TRANSCORP (21.6m) were top traded stocks by volume while ZENITH (N965.1m), NIGERIAN BREWERIES (N691.3m) and GUARANTY (N650.7m) were top traded by value.
Sector performance was bearish as all sectors trended southwards. The industrial goods and insurance indices led losers, shedding 2.7 percent apiece following profit taking in WAPCO (-5.9%) and MANSARD (-8.9%).
Similarly, the banking and oil & gas indices lost 1.1 percent each on the back of sell-offs in GUARANTY (-3.4%) and SEPLAT (-2.3%). Also, the Consumer Goods index fell 0.6%, dragged by investors exiting positions in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-1.0%) and DANGSUGAR (-1.7%).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) softened to 0.5x from 0.7x recorded in the previous session as 12 stocks advanced relative to 26 that declined.
The best performing stocks were FORTE (+9.9%), CUSTODIAN (+9.4%) and UNITY (+8.9%) while MBENEFIT (-9.1%), MULTIVERSE (-9.1%) and MANSARD (-8.9%) led laggards.
Analysts at Afrinvest Research say the current bearish sentiment in the market is being driven by some institutional investors who are reducing their positions in bellwethers stocks.
“Nevertheless, we believe an upturn in performance in the near term, will be buoyed by bulk bargain hunting in some fundamentally sound stocks,” they noted.