Sustained profit taking in the Nigerian stocks market Tuesday dragged the benchmark index southwards for the third consecutive trading session, as the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index (NSEASI) closed lower by 0.5 percent to settle at 36,333.80 points.
Year-to-date loss consequently worsened to 5.0 percent while market capitalization dropped N53.1 billion to settle at N13.3 trillion.
Losses in SEPLAT (-8.5%), GUARANTY (-2.1%) and ZENITH (-0.8%) were the major drags to market performance.
However, activity level strengthened as volume and value traded advanced 36.1 percent and 10.4 percent to 248.0 million units and N2.2 billion respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were WEMA (53.5m units), GUARANTY (23.4m units) and UBA (22.2m units) while top traded stocks by value were GUARANTY (N925.0bn), DANGCEM (N280.0bn) and UBA (N214.0bn).
The performance across the five major sub-sectors closed bearish as four of five indices closed in the red.
The oil & gas index led losers, shedding 4.7 percent majorly due to profit taking in SEPLAT (-8.5%) while sell offs in GUARANTY (-2.1%), ZENITH (-0.8%) and WAPCO (-2.0%) led to depreciation in the banking (-1.1%) and industrial goods (-0.9%) indices which were up Monday.
Similarly, the insurance index lost 0.8 percent as investors exited positions in MANSARD (-4.8%).
The consumer goods index was the day’s sole gainer, up 0.6 percent following bargain hunting in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (+2.1%), which lifted the index.
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) further strengthened to 1.1x from 0.8x recorded yesterday as 22 stocks gained against 21 stocks that lost.
Top gainers for the day were LIVESTOCK (+10.0%), AIRSERVICE (+10.0%) and UCAP (+10.0%) while the worst performers was CAP (-10.0%), MBENEFIT (-8.8%) and SEPLAT (-8.5%).
Analysts say market outlook in the near term remains bearish, noting that the trend may extend into Wednesday’s trading session as investors continue to react to weak H1:2018 corporate releases.