The bears continued to dominate activities in the equities market ahead of the 2019 general elections as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday extended its negative performance to the third trading session of the week, recording its biggest daily drop in eight (8) months.
The local bourse had opened the week on a bearish note following declines in value of some bellwether stocks like Nestle Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank, causing the key performance indicator of the NSE, the All-Share Index (ASI), to drop by 1.25 percent.
The negative trend continued on Tuesday on the back of investors’ profit taking activity, causing the major market indicators to slid further by 48 basis points to record N58 billion loss.
The ASI of the NSE depreciated for the sixth consecutive trading session on Wednesday by 3.46 percent to 32,292.79 points as investors’ confidence weakened, triggering massive selloffs in some highly capitalized stocks.
The sustained negative sentiments witnessed in the domestic bourse may not be unconnected to the submission of nomination form by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday to seek reelection into office in the 2019 polls under the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Recall that a group of Nigerians under the auspices of the Nigerian Consolidation Ambassadors Network (NCAN) had last week purchased the N45 million APC nomination form for President Buhari while he was on a six-day official visit to China for the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and presented the form to him at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday.
Specifically, the market capitalization of all listed equities, which opened at N12.21 trillion, shed N422.17 billion to close at N11.79 trillion, while the year-to-date loss of the ASI dipped to 15.61 percent.
In spite of the negative performance, activity level strengthened as the total volume and value of equities traded at the exchange rose by 63.87 percent and 334.02 percent to 246.91 million units of shares and N6.93 billion traded in 3,912 deals, respectively.
Universal Insurance Company led the laggards dropping 10 percent to close at 27 Kobo per share. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria declined by 9.87 percent to close at N27.85 per share, while Fidelity Bank shed 9.58 percent to close at N1.51 per share.
Equity Assurance depreciated by 9.09 percent to close at 20 Kobo per share, while Lasaco Assurance also lost 9.09 percent to close at 30 Kobo per share.
On the flip side, Law Union and Rock Insurance recorded the highest price gain leading by 9.09 percent to close 60 Kobo per share. Skye Bank followed with a gain of 8.93 percent to close at 61 Kobo, while Jaiz Bank rose by 6 percent to close at 53 Kobo per share.
Wema Bank appreciated by 5.26 percent to close at 60 Kobo per share, while Japaul Oil and Maritime Services garnered 4.55 percent to close at 23 Kobo per share.
Access Bank emerged investors’ toast for the session, transacting 46.15 million shares worth N368.78 million. FBN Holdings traded 22.60 million shares valued at N194.23 million, while Dangote Cement bought and sold a total of 18.70 million shares worth N3.93 billion.
On the sector performance, the NSE Oil & Gas index was the only gainer at the close of business, appreciating by 0.4 percent amidst several declines in other sector indices.
Conversely, NSE Industrial Goods and Banking indices dropped by 3.9 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. NSE Consumer Goods index shed 1.6 percent, while NSE Insurance closed lower by 1.4 percent.
“We anticipate a possible rebound before the close of the week as investors buy the dip for stocks with attractive entry prices as witnessed in GUARANTY (+0.3%). This however does not change our near-term bearish outlook on market,” analysts at Afrinvest Securities said.
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