Investors in the local equities market in Nigeria lost over N37 billion as sell-offs in Zenith Bank and Access Bank, as well as Wapic Insurance stocks, led to the tightening of the bears on the trading floor on Wednesday. Despite the extended loss in the local bourse, investors look forward to taking positions in fundamentally sound stocks in the subsequent trading sessions this week, say analysts at Afrinvest.
The benchmark index fell by 28 basis points to settle at 25,424.91 points owing to sell-offs in ZENITH (-3.0%), ACCESS (-3.0%) and UBA (-3.2%). As a result, investors lost N37.8 billion as market capitalisation fell to N13.3 trillion while the year to date (YTD) loss worsened to -5.3 per cent.
Notwithstanding, activity level improved as volume and value traded climbed 8.4 per cent and 42.4 per cent respectively to 269.6 million units and N2.9 billion. The most traded stocks by volume was ZENITH (35.8 million units), FBNH (33.4 million units) and UBA (29.8 million units) while GUARANTY (N605.1 million), ZENITH (N592.1 million) and MTNN (N526.7 million) led by value.
Bearish sector performance
However, market performance across sectors was unimpressive as 4 of 6 indicators lost, 1 gained while AFR-ICT remained unchanged. The industrial goods index was the lone gainer, up 0.1 per cent on the back of price appreciation in WAPCO (+0.8%).
Conversely, the banking and insurance indices lost 1.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively, driven by sell-offs in ZENITH (-3.0%), ACCESS (-3.0%) and WAPIC (-2.9%). Similarly, consumer goods and oil & gas indices fell 0.2 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively on the back of sell pressures in VITAFOAM (-4.7 percent), HONYFLOUR (-4.3 percent) and OANDO (-1.3 percent).
Investor sentiment weakens
Meanwhile, investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 0.3x from the 0.5x recorded previously as seven stocks gained against the 23 that lost. The top gainers were FIDSON (+7.3%), PZ (+6.3%
) and CUSTODIAN (+3.1%) while ROYALEX (-10.0%), LIVESTOCK (-9.1%) and CILEASING (-9.0%) lost the most.