By Peter Egwuatu
The equities’ market on Monday continued its bearish streak as the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE All Share Index, ASI fell 0.8 percent to 30,400.28 points while Year to Date, YtD return weakened to -3.3 percent.
Specifically, investors lost N89 billion of their investment value as the NSE market capitalisation decreased to N11.3 trillion from N11.425 trillion it closed last Friday. The trading performance was dragged by losses recorded by Nestle Nigeria Plc (-1.7 percent), Unilever Nigeria (-7.0 percent) and Zenith Bank (-1.8 percent).
In the same vein, activity level was mixed as volume traded dipped 33.4 percent to 222.6 million units while value traded rose 88.7 percent to 3.3billion. The top traded stocks by volume were Diamond Bank (77.7million units), Zenith Bank (19.7million units) and First Bank Nigeria Holding FBNH (10.8million units) while Nestle Nigeria (N1.1billion), Zenith Bank (N430.1million) and Nigerian Breweries (N413.7million) were the top traded stocks by value.
Meanwhile, performance across sectors on the Exchange was negative as four of five Indices under closed in the red. The Industrial Goods Index emerged as the lone gainer, up 0.1 percent due to gains in WAPCO (+0.4 percent).
On the flip side, the Consumer Goods Index shed the most, down 2.3 percent following sell offs in Nestle (-1.7 percent) and Unilever (-7.0 percent). The Banking, Oil & Gas and Insurance Indices trailed, down 0.9 percent, 0.7 percent and 0.3 percent respectively dragged by Zenith Bank (-1.8 percent), ETI (-3.6 percent), MRS (-9.9 percent), Forte Oil (-2.5 percent), NEM Insurance (-10.0 percent) and Custodian & Allied (-2.5 percent).
Investor sentiment remained unchanged as market breadth showed that 14 stocks advanced against 34 stocks that declined. The best performers were WAPIC gaining (+10.0 percent), Diamond Bank (+10.0 percent) and AG Leventis (+7.4 percent) while Resort Savings loss of (-10.0 percent ), NEM Insurance (-10.0 percent ) and MRS (-9.9 percent) led laggards.
Analysts at Afrinvest Research stated: “We expect market performance to pick up mid-week due to bargain hunting in Bellwethers while maintaining a bearish outlook for the month as election uncertainties heighten.”