Nigeria’s equities market continued on a negative trajectory Thursday as investors worth dwindled by N111.4 billion on the back of sell-offs in big cap stocks such as Guaranty Trust Bank (-4.5%), Stanbic (-4.1%) and Zenith (-1.5%).
The All Share Index (ASI) closed 1.0 percent lower to settle at 30,771.32 points extending the losses from the beginning of the year to -2.1 percent while market capitalisation dropped to N11.5 trillion.
Activity level also declined as volume and value traded slid by 21.6 percent and 27.8 percent to 168.2 million units and N1.1 billion respectively.
Analysts say despite the bearish performance of the market, good bargains in fundamentally sound stocks exist. Although they noted that pre-election jitters continue, they expect investors to take positions in these fundamentally sound stocks.
The top traded stocks by volume for the day were Diamond Bank (51.9m units), Transcorp (12.8m units) and Access Bank (11.3m units) while Guaranty Trust Bank (N171.9m), Zenith (N168.7m) and Diamond Bank (N107.2m) and were the top traded stocks by value.
Market performance across sectors was mostly bearish as the oil & gas index was the lone gainer, up 0.6 percent propped up by gains in Forte (+9.6%).
The industrial goods index posted the worst performance, down by 2.8 percent following losses in Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (-4.9%) and Lafarge WAPCO (-4.2%). The banking index trailed, shedding 2.1 percent dragged by Guaranty Trust Bank (-4.5%) and Stanbic IBTC (-4.1%); while the insurance and consumer goods indices also had a downward trajectory, weighed by price depreciation in Sovereign Insurance (-4.8%), Dangote Sugar (-1.7%) and Flourmill (-1.6%).
24 declining stocks outnumbered 13 gainers thereby depicting further weakness in investor sentiment to 0.5x from 0.9x recorded previously.
The top performing stocks for the day were Forte Oil (+9.6%), UBN (+8.0%) and Transnational Express (+7.7%); while Glaxosmithkline (-10.0%), University Press (-9.6%) and MCNICHOLS (-8.5%) performed the worst.