Bearish sentiments prevailed on Nigerian stocks on Tuesday to close lower as continued profit-taking in market bellwethers dragged benchmark index, the NSEASI, down 0.9 percent to close at 37,605.12 points, while year-to-date (YTD) return dropped to -1.67 percent.
Specifically, sell-offs in Dangote Cement (-0.58%), Zenith Bank (-2.44%) and 28 other stocks influenced market performance, just as market capitalisation shed N123.8 billion to close at N13.622 trillion, with a negative market breadth of 13 gainers against 30 losers.
Activity level on the day improved as the volume of shares traded moved up by +0.45 percent as against a decline of 45.41 percent recorded in the previous session
The most traded stocks by volume were MULTIVERSE (100m), ZENITHBANK (16.5m) and GUARANTY (13.0m) while GUARANTY (N515.96m), ZENITHBANK (N403.3m) and ACCESS (N133.0m) were the top traded stocks by value.
Sector performance was equally bearish as four of the five major indices closed southwards. The insurance index emerged lone gainer, up 0.57 percent following buy interest in PRESTIGE (+9.43%), MBENEFIT (5.88%) and NEM (4.62%).
On the flip side, the industrial goods index shed the most, down 1.51 percent, due to losses in DANGCEM (-0.58%) while the banking index trailed, shedding 1.25 percent as profit-taking in ZENITH (-2.44%) dragged the index lower.
Similarly, the consumer goods index shed 1.09 percent as a result of sell-offs in HONYFLOUR (-5.31%), which is still being negatively impacted by its recently released underwhelming FY2017. Losses in MOBIL (-4.95%) pulled the oil and gas index 1.16 percent southwards.
The day’s top gainers were PRESTIGE (+9.43%), ROYALEX (+9.03%) and REDSTAREX (+8.33%) while JAIZBANK (-10.00%), OMOMORBNK (-9.86%) and CORNERST (-9.38%) 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
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