By Omobayo Azeez
As weak sentiments continued to dominate the Nigerian stock market, the domestic equities market plunged further into negative territory to close last week with a cumulative loss estimated at N162 billion.
This is the equivalent to 1.11 per cent depreciation in share prices as evident on the all-share index (ASI) which lost 311.22 points to close the week at 27,755.87 basis points, just as market capitalization closed lower at N14.456 trillion.
Consequently, the market fall seen last week marked the third weekly decline in a row, as year-to-date return on the market moderated to 3.8 per cent, which despite the decline is still adjudged best performance among other stocks exchanges in Africa.
In terms of activity, the value and volume traded decreased by 28 per cent and 38 per cent to an average of 2.4 billion and 182.4 million respectively with registered negative performances across four sectors.
Just as advised by earlier by investment experts, the current sell-off pressure on equities may still be far from coming to a halt as the market is bereft of catalysts to spur positive sentiments.
Amidst this turbulence however, analysts have, nonetheless, advised investors to take positions in fundamentally justified stocks.
A total turnover of 912.175 million shares worth N12.126 billion in 17,083 deals were traded last week by investors on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to a total of 1.478 billion shares valued at N20.295 billion that exchanged hands the previous week in 23,263 deals.
The financial services industry, measured by volume, led the activity chart with 624.219 million shares valued at N7.129 billion traded in 9,640 deals; thus contributing 68.43 per cent and 58.79 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
The conglomerates followed with 93.204 million shares worth N452.093 million in 861 deals while the third place was oil and gas industry, with a turnover of 59.267 million shares worth N124.638 million in 1,254 deals.
In terms of volume, trading in the top three equities namely, Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc are accounted for 304.089 million shares worth N5.788 billion in 4,290 deals, contributing 33.34 per cent and 47.73 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
While a total of 1,540 units valued at N137,421.20 were traded during the week in five deals, compared with a total of 3,840 units valued at N12.029 million transacted last week in eight deals, federal government bonds traded 23,923 valued at N28.986 million last week in 22 deals in contrast with 55,246 units worth N63.094 million exchanged hands in 15 deals the previous week.