The Nigerian equities market continued a downtrend into the fourth consecutive session on Wednesday with market capitalisation dropping by a total of N350 billion to settle at N11.326 trillion on sustained sell-offs in highly capitalised stocks.
According to statistics from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the All Share Index (ASI) declined further by 0.48 percent to settle at 31,023.47 points on the back of losses recorded in market heavy weights such as Dangote Cement that dropped 1.4 percent, Nigerian Breweries that fell 9.6 percent and FCMB that also dropped 9.6 percent.
Consequently, the year-to-date losses grew to -18.9 percent. Activity level was mixed as volume traded advanced 21.0 percent to 220.4 million units while value traded depreciated 1.0 percent to N2.7 billion.
Topping the list of the days most traded stocks by volume were Access Bank with an exchange of 54.2m units, FCMB with 31.5m units and Diamond Bank with 16.7m units. On the other hand, Nigerian Breweries, Nestle and Access were the top traded stocks by value with transactions worth N848.3 million, N508.1 million, and N385.4 million respectively.
The sector indices closed the day bearish as 3 of 5 major indices depreciated. The insurance and consumer goods indices emerged as the only gainers due to price appreciation in Continental Re-insurance (+10.0%), PZ Cussons (+8.1%) and Flourmill (+2.6%).
On the flip side, the oil & gas index shed the most, down 0.8 percent due to sell pressures in Oando (-6.1%). In the same vein, the industrial goods and banking indices dipped 0.4 percent and 0.2 percent triggered by losses in Dangote Cement (-1.6%), Access (-1.4%) and Zenith (-1.5%).
Investor sentiment further weakened as market breadth (advance/decline ratio) dropped to 0.5x from 0.6x recorded Tuesday with 12 advancers against 23 decliners.
Continental Re-insurance (+10.0%), May and Baker (+10.0%) and CUTIX (+9.6%) were the best performing stocks while Diamond Bank (-9.9%), NEM (-8.8%) and Wema Bank (-8.8%) led the laggards.
Increased buying activities is expected to drive the market in the next session says analysts at Afrinvest.
They said in an investors note Wednesday that “despite the bearish run in today’s session, we observed some bargain hunting especially in bellwethers that declined earlier in the week. We therefore believe that an increase buying activities will drive market performance in the remaining trading sessions.”