The bearish trend at the Nigerian equities market filtered into the third consecutive day on Tuesday, as the NSE All Share Index (ASI) declined 1.3 percent to settle at 31,173.71 points due to sell-offs in Seplat (-9.6%), Dangote Cement (-1.4%) and sustained profit taking in Guaranty Trust Bank;GTB (-2.5%).
Market capitalisation depreciated as a result by as much as N131.4 billion to settle at N11.4 trillion, while year-to-date return declined to -18.5 percent.
The volume and value traded Tuesday however improved, advancing 73.7 percent and 41.9 percent to 182.1 million units and N2.8 billion respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were Cement Company of Northern Nigeria; CCNN (37.9m units), Access Bank (29.3m units) and Transcorp (22.4m units) while CCNN (N682.9m), Nestle (N551.4m) and Nigerian Breweries (N297.7m) were the top traded stocks by value.
Performance across sectors was largely bearish as 4 of 5 major indices depreciated. The insurance index emerged as the lone gainer due to price appreciation in Continental Re-insurance (+9.7%), on account of news of acquisition plans for repositioning on the global insurance scene.
On the flip side, the oil & gas index declined the most, down 5.9 percent as investors took arbitrage opportunities following a price discrepancy between listed price in Nigeria (NSE) and London (LSE) .
The banking index trailed, down 1.7 percent due to sell-offs in GTB (-2.5%) and Access Bank (-2.7%). Similarly, the consumer and industrial goods indices shed 0.6 percent and 0.9 percent respectively on the back of losses in PZ (-9.8%), Flourmill (-4.9%), CCNN (-0.8%) and Lafarge WAPCO (-5.5%).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) further weakened to 0.6x from 0.9x recorded Monday as 14 stocks appreciated against 23 decliners.
Beta Glass (+10.0%), Continental Re-insurance (+9.7%) and CAP (+9.4%) were the best performing stocks while AG Leventis (-10.0%), Forte Oil (-9.9%) and PZ (-9.9%) led the laggards.
Analysts at Afrinvest are of the view that the significant sell offs in bellwethers observed Tuesday presents bargain hunting opportunities for investors. They thus expect an uptick in market performance towards the end of the week.