Stock market reverses gains, reverts to losing streak

The Nigerian equities market has reverted to its losing trend, reversing gains recorded on Wednesday.

Investors lost N56bn as the market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange dropped from N11.694tn on Wednesday to N11.638tn on Thursday.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said the sell-offs witnessed in bellwethers – Dangote Cement Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc led to the reversal in prior gains in the All Share Index, which declined by 0.48 per cent to 31,213.47 basis points while the year-to-date loss moderated to –1 per cent.

Activity level was mixed as volume traded shed 53.1 per cent to close at 177 million units while value traded appreciated by 13.2 per cent to settle at N2.560bn.

The top traded stocks by volume were Zenith Bank (80.8 million units), Sterling Bank Plc (16.8 million units) and First City Monument Bank Plc (12.1 million units), while Zenith Bank (N1.8bn), GTB (N228.2m) and Nestle Nigeria Plc (N109.4m) were the top traded stocks by value.

Similar to yesterday, performance across sectors was mixed as two indices closed on a negative note, two appreciated, while one closed flat.

The industrial goods and banking indices closed in the red, down by 0.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively, following losses in Dangote Cement, GTB and Zenith Bank.

On the flip side, the insurance index gained 0.5 per cent due to price appreciation in NEM Insurance Plc and Linkage Assurance Plc, while buying interest in Oando Plc led to a 0.1 per cent uptick in the oil and gas index.

Losses in Nestle neutralised the gains recorded in Dangote Flour Mills Plc, causing the consumer goods index to close flat.

Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 0.4x from 0.7x recorded on Wednesday as nine stocks advanced against 20 decliners.

“Despite today’s sell offs, we expect positive corporate earnings releases to drive the performance of the equities market in the near term,” analysts at Afrinvest said.