The nation’s stock market opened the week with N160bn loss as sell pressures in BUA Cement Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc pulled the All-Share Index lower by 1.08 per cent to settle at 28,533.40 basis points. The market capitalisation of equities dropped from N14.86tn on Friday to N14.70tn on Monday.
Activity level weakened as volume and value traded fell by 29.9 per cent and 25.3 per cent to 251.59 million units and N3.15bn respectively. The top traded stocks by volume were Zenith Bank (47.5 million units), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (35.8 million units) and First City Monument Bank Plc (23.5 million units) while GTB (N1.1bn), Zenith Bank (N952.9m) and MTN Nigeria Communications Plc (N159.7m) led by value.
Performance across sectors was largely bearish as all indices closed in the red, except the AFR-ICT index that closed flat. The banking index led laggards with a 3.9 per cent loss as a result of sell-offs in Zenith Bank, Access Bank and FBN Holdings Plc. The industrial goods and insurance indices declined by 1.3 per cent and 0.1 per cent on the back of losses in BUA Cement, Wapic Insurance Plc and Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc.
Major price depreciation in Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc and Forte Oil Plc dragged the consumer goods and oil and gas indices down by 0.1 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively. Investor sentiment weakened as market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 0.3x from the 1.7x recorded on the previous trading day as eight gainers were overshadowed by 24 losers.
The top gainers were Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc and UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust. NCR Plc, Forte Oil and Cadbury led the losers’ table. Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said for the rest of the week, they expected corporate earnings release to dictate the direction of the equities market.