The Nigerian equities market started the week in a loss after 36 stocks trended southwards.
Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Niger Insurance Company Plc and Unity Bank Plc emerged as the worst-performing stocks, shedding 9.6 per cent, 9.5 per cent and 8.9 per cent, respectively.
A total of 327.759 million shares valued at N5.259bn exchanged hands in 5,366 deals.
The market, thus, maintained a downward trend from last week’s close as the All-Share Index slid to 41,832.63 from 41,935.93 basis points while year-to-date return shrank to 9.4 per cent.
As a result, investors lost N37bn in value as the Nigerian Stock Exchange equities capitalisation fell to N14.965tn from N15.002tn.
The bearish performance of the market was attributed to profit-taking in large capitalised stocks – Nigerian Breweries Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, which depreciated accordingly by 3.4 per cent, 4.8 per cent and two per cent.
Likewise, activity level declined as volume and value of shares traded fell by 23.4 per cent and 25.9 per cent, respectively. The top-traded stocks by volume were Zenith Bank Plc (128.9 million), FBN Holdings (23.8 million) and Fidelity Bank Plc (16.7 million) while Zenith Bank (N3.5bn), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N0.4bn) and FBN Holdings (N0.3bn) were the top-traded stocks by value.
As a result, sector performance was largely bearish as four of the five major NSE indices closed in the red. The industrial goods index was the lone gainer, up by 0.5 per cent largely due to buying interest in Dangote Cement Plc, which appreciated by 0.4 per cent.
However, the insurance index was the biggest loser, down by 2.8 per cent as Continental Reinsurance Plc and Wapic Insurance Plc shed 4.7 per cent and five per cent, respectively.
The banking index followed, dropping by 2.1 per cent following price depreciation in ETI by 4.8 per cent. The consumer goods and oil/gas indices fell by 1.8 per cent and 0.6 per cent, respectively as investors took profit in Nigerian Breweries, Dangote Flour Plc and Total Nigeria Plc, which fell by 3.4 per cent, 4.8 per cent and 5.7 per cent, respectively.
Investor sentiment stayed flat as 14 stocks advanced against the 34 laggards. The best performing stocks were C & I Leasing Plc, United Capital Plc and NEM Insurance Company Nigeria Plc, which gained 9.9 per cent, 5.6 per cent and 4.8 per cent, accordingly.
Following the day’s performance, analysts at Afrinvest Securities, in a post, said, “Despite the largely positive corporate earnings which have been released, market performance has remained negative, nevertheless, we envisage bargain-hunting opportunities in the near term. Our view is further buttressed by the Relative Strength Index of the ASI which currently stands at 38.9 (closer to the oversold region).”