After three days of positive trade, the Nigerian equities market closed negative Wednesday on sell-offs occasioned by profit taking, which dragged benchmark index, NSEASI, down 34 basis points to 44,343.65 points. Consequently, year-to-date (YTD) return contracted to 16.0 percent from 16.3 percent achieved in the previous trading session.
The days trade also saw market capitalization decreasing by N53.8 billion to settle at N15.9 trillion.
The negative performance was driven by price depreciation in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-2.0%), INTBREW (-4.9%) and UBN (-3.7%). However, activity level was mixed as volume traded declined 25.7 percent to 651.9 million units while value traded advanced 4.5 percent to N7.8 billion.
Performance across sectors was largely mixed as three of five indices trended southwards. The consumer goods index was the biggest loser, down 1.1 percent on the back of losses in NIGERIAN BREWERIES (-2.0%) and INTBREW (-4.9%).
The Insurance index trailed, shedding 0.3 percent primarily due to sell offs in LAWUNION (-8.3%) and NEM (-0.6%). Similarly, losses in UBN (-3.7%) and UBA (-1.2%) pulled the banking index 0.2% lower.
Conversely, the industrial goods index appreciated the most, up 1.9 percent as investors took positions in WAPCO (+4.6%) and CCNN (+0.5%). Also, buying interest in FORTE (+1.9%) drove the positive performance of the oil & gas index (+0.3%).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 0.8x from 1.4x recorded the previous day consequent on 23 stocks advancing against 30 decliners.
The top performing stocks were FLOURMILL (+10.0%), WEMA (+9.7%) and LIVESTOCK (+8.9%) while LASACO (-8.7%), LAWUNION (-8.3%) and UNIC (-8.0%) led laggards.
Despite the day’s performance, analysts maintain positive outlook for the market in the near to medium term.
“Although today’s performance was in line with expectation given three days of consecutive gains, we maintain our near term positive outlook for the market,” analysts at Afrinvest noted.
In the NASD OTC Exchange, total volume and value traded settled at 259,195 units and N30.1m respectively. The SDFCWAMCO was the most traded security by volume and value.