By Nkiruka Nnorom

Investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, lost a total of N435 billion from their investment last week as optimism that greeted the announcement of adoption of flexible foreign exchange policy from the federal government waned.

At the close of trading, the market capitalisation that measures performance of equities in the market fell to N9.49 trillion as against N9.93 trillion in the previous week, representing 4.4 per cent decline. The All Share Index, ASI, dropped by the same margin, declining to 27,634.42 points from 28,902.26 points.

Activity was weak across the entire market as all the sectorial indices took a downward trend. The banking sector impacted by massive sell off on the shares of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Zenith International Bank Plc and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, ETI, recorded the worst performance, sheding 7.7 per cent to settle at  276.96 points from 302.24 points.

The NSE Oil and Gas Index fuelled by 17.87 per cent loss on the shares of Oando Plc closed as the second worst performing sector, depreciating by 5.3 per cent to 326.05 points. The NSE 30 Index was down 4.9 per cent to settle at 1,229.26 points, while NSE Insurance Index went down by 4.01 per cent to 130.12 point. The Consumer Goods sector lost 3.01 per cent, while Industrial sector slipped by 3.35 per cent.

Analysts at United Capital Plc attributed the weak performance to delay by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to provide clear guidelines on the new forex policy, “Recent market momentum from FX related pronouncement by the MPC appears to have waned as investors demand further clarity. We expect the equities market will remain within its current range until there is a much clearer signal especially around FX, the analysts said.

Analysis of the price movement chart, showed that for every five losers during the week, there was one gainer, as 60 losers emerged versus 12 gainers in the week.

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