Equity investors have embarked on a selling spree as the market extended losses to its second consecutive day, losing N130bn. The market capitalisation of equities depreciated from N15.30tn on Monday to N15.17tn on Wednesday as the All Share Index declined by 0.02 per cent to settle at 29,458.21 basis points.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said the equities market trended downwards on the back of sell-offs in Zenith Bank Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc and MTN Nigeria Communications Plc. Consequently, the year-to-date return fell to 9.7 per cent. Activity level was mixed as volume traded rose by 15.7 per cent to 315.67 million units while value traded fell by two per cent to N3.6bn.
The top traded stocks by volume were Austion Laz and Company Plc (85 million units), Access Bank Plc (60.5 million units) and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (26.4 million units) while GTB (N849.9m), Access Bank (N600.9m) and Dangote Cement Plc (N573.2m) led by value. Performance across sectors was bullish as four sectors recorded gains.
The insurance and industrial goods indices led gainers, up by 0.86 per cent and 0.41 per cent on the back of price appreciation in Aiico Insurance Plc, Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc, Wapic Insurance Plc and Cutix Plc. The oil and gas and banking indices gained 0.36 per cent and 0.13 per cent due to buying interest in Oando Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.
On the flip side, price declines in MTN Nigeria, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and Nascon Allied Industries Plc drove the AFR-ICT and consumer goods lower by 0.1 per cent and 0.22 per cent respectively. Investor sentiment weakened as market breadth (advance/decline ratio) declined to 0.8x from the 0.9x recorded in the previous session as 15 stocks advanced against 18 decliners.
The top five gainers were Law Union and Rock, Aiico Insurance Plc, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Cutix and Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc, which saw respective gains of 10 per cent, 8.6 per cent, 8.3 per cent, 5.1 per cent and five per cent. The top five losers were Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Nascon Allied Industries, Courteville Business Solutions Plc, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc and Lasaco Assurance Plc, whose share prices declined by 6.8 per cent, 4.5 per cent, 4.2 per cent, 3.7 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively. Analysts at Afrinvest Securities said they expected bargain hunting to dominate the market in the near term.