Nigerian stocks Monday close lower as profit taking in market bellwethers dragged benchmark index, the NSEASI down 0.9 percent to close at 37,946.92 points while year-to-date (YTD) return dropped to -0.8 percent.
Specifically, sell-offs in DANGCEM (-2.1%), GUARANTY (-1.2%) and ZENITH (-1.6%) influenced market performance, just as market capitalization lost N120.1 billion to close N13.7 trillion.
Activity level on the day weakened as volume and value traded dipped 47.9 percent and 68.2 percent to 244.5 million units and N1.9 billion respectively. The most traded stocks by volume were STERLING (100.4m), FBNH (23.7m) and WEMA (16.9m) while DANGCEM (N384.3m), FBNH (N251.1m) and GUARANTY (N236.9m) were the top traded stocks by value.
Sector performance was equally bearish as four of the five major indices closed southwards. The oil & gas index emerged lone gainer, up 0.8 percent following buy interest in MOBIL (+9.2%).
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On the flip side, the industrial goods index shed the most, down 1.0 percent, due to losses in DANGCEM (-2.1%) while the banking index trailed, shedding 1.0 percent as profit taking in GUARANTY (-1.2%) and ZENITH (-1.6%) dragged the index lower.
Similarly, the consumer goods index shed 0.1 percent as a result of sell-offs in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-1.0%) and HONYFLOUR (-9.6%), which was dragged by underwhelming FY2017. Losses in CORNERST (-8.6%) and MBENEFIT (-8.1%) pulled the Insurance index 0.1 percent southwards.
Investor sentiment as indicated by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 0.8x from 1.7x recorded in the prior session as 16 stocks advanced relative to 21 decliners.
The day’s top gainers were AIICO (+9.8%), CILEASING (+9.7%) and UNITY (+9.3%) while FORTE (-9.7%), HONYFLOUR (-9.6%) and CORNERST (-8.6%) were the worst performers.
Despite the bearish performance, small to mid cap stocks enjoyed bargain hunting from short-term investors. However, analysts see the bears dictating the market going forward as sentiments on bellwethers remained bearish.
“We expect overall market performance to be bearish in subsequent sessions while emphasizing that valuations remain attractive for entry by long-term investors,” according to analysts at Afrinvest