Total turnover at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) nosed down to 81.91 million shares valued at N592.52 million in 2,520 deals, a significant decline in a market that trades daily an average of N1 billion in more than nine-digit volumes.
The steep decline in volume of activities further highlighted the continuing negative sentiments at the stock market, as the market ended its third consecutive negative trading session with a loss of N27 billion on Wednesday.
With average decline of 0.29 per cent on Wednesday, the negative average year-to-date return worsened to -4.06 per cent. There were 20 losers to 12 gainers with sectoral indices showing widespread selling pressure across sectors and equities’ groups.
The All Share Index (ASI), the benchmark index for the stock market, declined from its opening index of 27,555.31 points to close at 27,478.04 points. Aggregate value for all quoted equities on the NSE dropped from N9.465 trillion to close at N9.438 trillion.
Across the sectors, the NSE Oil & Gas Index dropped by 3.0 per cent. The NSE Insurance I slipped by 0.2 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index lost 0.2 per cent while the NSE Banking Index dropped m marginally by 0.1 per cent. However, the NSE Oil & Gas Index improved by 0.3 per cent.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities attributed the weak performance of the Nigerian stock market to the fragile macroeconomic fundamentals, high fixed income yield and bearish outlook on third quarter earnings due for release this month.
“However, compelling opportunities for short term investors attracted by cheap prices are anticipated to drive performance in subsequent sessions,” Afrinvest Securities stated in a reference to possible bargain-hunting by the weekend.
Total Nigeria led the losers with a loss of N13.97 to close at N290. Forte Oil followed with a loss of N10.57 to close at N127.30. Ashaka Cement dropped by N1.46 to close at N13.57.
International Breweries lost 99 kobo to close at N19 while GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria dropped by 83 kobo per share to close at N15.78.
Investors continued to show preference for low-priced stocks. The three most active stocks were FCMB Group, with 16.43 million shares; Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, 8.57 million shares and United Capital, with 7.65 million shares.
On the upside, CAP and Stanbic IBTC Holdings led the contrarian stocks with a gain of 50 kobo each to close at N33.75 and N17 respectively. Lafarge Africa rose by 30 kobo to N43 while Flour Mills of Nigeria chalked up 23 kobo to close at N20 while.
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