STOCK MARKET ENDS LOWER AS BEARISH SENTIMENT PERSISTS
The nation’s stock market closed on a negative note on Tuesday for the fifth consecutive session as bearish sentiment lingered. The All-Share Index of the Nigerian Stock Exchange dropped by 48 basis points to 33,449.17bps, while the year-to-date loss increased to 12.5 per cent.
A total of N59.3bn was also wiped off the listed equities’ market capitalisation, which stood at N12.211tn at the end of trading on Tuesday. Activity level, however, strengthened as volume and value traded rose by 9.5 per cent and 17.7 per cent to 150.671 million units and N1.596bn, respectively.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited attributed the decline to the persistent sell pressures on the stock market. They said, “Tuesday’s session saw higher sell pressures on major bellwethers although investors bid to buy the dip towards the close of market. Nonetheless, bearish sentiments remain. Against this backdrop, we maintain a near-term negative outlook for the market.”
Sell-offs in Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc, and 27 others neutralised price appreciation in the shares of Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc, Nestlé Nigeria Plc, and 12 others to drag the benchmark index lower by 0.5 per cent.
The top traded stocks by volume were GTB (17.5 million units), United Bank for Africa Plc (15.6 million units) and Diamond Bank Plc (13.8 million units), while top traded stocks by value were GTB (N562.8m), Nestlé Nigeria (N250.7m) and Zenith Bank Plc (N236.0m). Performance across sectors was largely bearish as four of five closed southwards. The banking index declined the most as continuous sell-offs in GTB (-5.8 per cent), Zenith Bank (-2.9 per cent) and UBA (-4.5 per cent) dragged the index lower by three per cent.
Similarly, the insurance and oil and gas indices lost 0.9 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively on the back of losses in Continental Reinsurance Plc, Cornerstone Insurance Plc, Forte Oil Plc and Eterna Plc, which depreciated by 4.67 per cent, 7.41 per cent, 4.99 per cent and 3.20 per cent, respectively, while sustained profit-taking in Cutix Plc dragged the Industrial Goods Index marginally by one basis point.
The top five losers were Dangote Sugar Refinery, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, Universal Insurance Plc, Sunu Assurances Nigeria Plc, and Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc, which depreciated by 10 per cent, 10 per cent, 9.09 per cent, 9.09 per cent, and 8.33 per cent, respectively.
The top five gainers were Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc, Nestlé Nigeria Plc, Regency Assurance Plc, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc and Learn Africa Plc, which appreciated by 10 per cent, 9.59 per cent, 9.52 per cent, 9.09 per cent, and 8.91 per cent, respectively.
Others gainers were Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Wapic Insurance Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services Plc, AIICO insurance Plc, LASACO Assurance Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and NEM Insurance Plc.