By Peter Egwuatu
The trading of equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE on Thursday extended its losses witnessed yesterday as major market indicator, All Share Index, ASI dropped by 1.0 percent following selloffs in the shares of some blue chip companies.
Specifically, losses recorded by GTBank, Stanbic IBTC and Zenith Bank (-4.5 percent), ( -4.1 percent) and( -1.5 percent) respectively significantly impacted to the decline in the All Share Index (ASI) by 1.0 percent to close at 30,771.32 points while Year to Date, YtD performance extended to -2.1 percent .
The market capitalisation, another stock market gauge shed N111.4billion to close at N11.5 trillion. Activity level declined as volume and value traded slid by 21.6 percent and 27.8 percent to 168.2millon units and N1.1billionn respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were Diamond Bank (51.9million units), Transcorp (12.8million units) and Access Bank (11.3million units) while GTBank (N171.9million), Zenith Bank (N168.7million) and Diamond Bank (N107.2million) and were the top traded stocks by value.
Market performance was mostly bearish across sectors as the Oil & Gas Index was the lone gainer, up 0.6 percent propped up by gains in Forte Oil (+9.6 percent). The Industrial Goods Index posted the worst performance, down by 2.8 percent following losses in Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, CCNN (-4.9 percent) and WAPCO (-4.2 percent). The Banking Index trailed, shedding 2.1 percent dragged by GTBank (-4.5 percent) and Stanbic IBTC (-4.1 percent); while the Insurance and Consumer Goods Indices also had a downward trajectory, weighed by price depreciation recorded by Sovereign Insurance (-4.8 percent), Dangote Sugar (-1.7 percent) and Flour Mills (-1.6 percent ).
Meanwhile, investor sentiment as measured by market breadth weakened as 24 declining stocks outnumbered 13 gainers. The top performing stocks for the day were Forte Oil (+9.6 percent), UBN (+8.0 percent) and TRANSEXPR (+7.7 percent); while GlaxoSmithKline (-10.0 percent), UPL (-9.6 percent) and MCNICHOLS (-8.5percent) performed the worst.
Analysts at Despite Afrinvest Research said: “The bearish performance of the market, good bargains in fundamentally sound stocks exist. We expect investors to take positions in these stocks even as pre-election jitters continue.”