By Peter Egwuatu
Investors in the stock market lost N100.2 billion worth of their investments yesterday after the bullish run recorded in the last trading day before Christmas.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE All Share Index (ASI) dipped 0.9 percent to close at 31,692.63 points as against the gains of 3.9 percent recorded during the trading before Christmas.
Consequently, the Year to Date, YtD loss to investors worsened to -17.1 percent, as market capitalization declined by N100.2billion to close at N11.6 trillion.
Market performance was dragged by losses recorded by First Bank Nigeria Holding, FBNH (-4.7 percent), Dangote Cement (-3.4 percent) and Access Bank (-2.8 percent). Similarly, activity level fell as volume and value dipped by 36.7 percent and 49.8 percent to 452.3million units and N2.6billion respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were Med Vie Air (146.9million units), NEM Insurance (45.9million units) and Transcorp (37.5million units) while Zenith Bank (N646.2million), Guaranty Trust Bank (N345.6million) and Med View Air (293.9million) were the top traded stocks by value.
Performance across sectors was largely positive as three of five Indices closed higher. The Oil & Gas Index gained the most, up 1.3 percent due to gains in Forte Oil which increased by +9.9 percent and Conoil rising by +10.0 percent. The Banking and Consumer Goods Indices trailed, up 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent respectively following price appreciation in Nigerian Breweries which went up by +0.5 percent , followed by NASCON +1.4 percent, Diamond Bank +9.7 percent, FCMB +8.6 percent and Guaranty Trust Bank +0.3 percent. On the flipside, sell pressures in Dangote Cement (-3.4 percent) ,NEM Insurance (9.2 percent) and Niger Insurance( -8.3 percent) dragged down the Industrial and Insurance Indices by -2.1 and -7 percent respectively.
Investor sentiment weakened as 30 stocks advanced in price as against 16 decliners. The top performers were NPFMCRFBK, gaining (+10.0 percent), Mutual Benefit (+10.0 percent) and CONOIL (+10.0 percent ) while UACN (-10.0 percent), NEM Insurance (-9.2 percent) and Niger Insurance (-8.3 percent) declined the most.
Analysts at Afrinvest Research stated: “We expect market performance over the last few days of the year to be slightly positive as portfolio managers re-balance portfolios