The Nigerian bourse opened the week Monday negative as sell sentiment in bellwethers helped to crash stock prices by N100.7 billion. Accordingly, market capitalization settled at N12.3 trillion.
By the development, market benchmark index slipped 81bps to close at 35,664.94 points while year-to-date (YTD) return moderated to 32.7 percent.
Market performance was majorly dragged by sell sentiment in DANGCEM (-2.3%) GUARANTY (-1.9%) and NESTLE (-0.8%). In the same manner, market activity weakened as volume and value traded declined 24.7 percent and 29.5 percent to close at 114.8 million units and N2.2 billion respectively.
Sector performance was broadly bearish as all indices closed in the red save for the oil & gas index, which rose 0.7 percent on account of bargain hunting in OANDO (+3.7%) and TOTAL (+0.9%).
Conversely, the industrial goods index led losers with a loss of 1.0 percent due to price depreciation in DANGCEM (-2.3%). Likewise, the banking and consumer goods indices dipped 0.4 percent apiece owing to losses in GUARANTY (-1.9%) and NESTLE (-0.8%) while the insurance index shed 0.1 percent on the back of a decline in WAPIC (-2.0%).
Investor sentiment remained soft as reflected in the market breadth, which settled at 0.9x (relative to 0.9x recorded in the previous session) as 20 stocks advanced against 23 decliners. The best performers were AIRSERVICE (+4.9%), TRANSCORP (+4.8%) and UCAP (+4.7%) while OKOMUOIL (-4.9%), MCNICHOLS (-4.5%) and LIVESTOCK (-4.5%) were the worst performers.
Analysts say the weak sentiment in the market suggests that investors are trading cautiously in anticipation of Q3:2017 company results, adding that current performance may be sustained in trading sessions ahead.