The equities market declined by N88.3bn on Thursday on the back of major sell-offs witnessed in Dangote Cement Plc, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc.
The market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange dropped from N13.431tn on Wednesday to N13.341tn on Thursday as the All Share Index declined by 0.66 per cent to close at 27,425.57 basis points
The year-to-date loss worsened to -12.7 per cent as activity level declined. The volume and value traded depreciated by 11 per cent and 45.1 per cent, respectively, to 116.069 million units and N1.7bn.
The most active stocks by volume were Zenith Bank Plc (19.092 million units), Lafarge Africa Plc (17.657 million units) and Access Bank Plc (15.012 million units) while the most active stocks by value were Dangote Cement Plc (N353.67m), Zenith Bank (N353.45m) and Lafarge (N250.71m).
Two sectors ― industrial goods and consumer goods ― emerged the only losers, depreciating by 0.74 per cent and 0.19 per cent, respectively, on the back of profit-taking in Dangote Cement, Unilever and Flour Mills.
The insurance index led the gainers, up by 1.83 per cent following sustained gains in Continental Reinsurance Plc and Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc.
The oil and gas and banking indices trailed, advancing by 0.10 per cent and 0.09 per cent, respectively, due to buying interests in Forte Oil Plc, Total Nigeria Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, UBA Group Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.
Investor sentiment strengthened as market breadth (advance/decline ratio) increased to 1.3x from 1.0x recorded on Wednesday, consequent on gains recorded in 18 stocks and losses recorded in 14 stocks.
The top gainers were Continental Reinsurance, Africa Prudential Plc, Forte Oil, Neimeth Pharmaceutical Company Plc and Livestock Feeds Plc, whose respective share prices gained 9.79 per cent, 8.57 per cent, 6.82 per cent, 6.38 per cent and five per cent.
The top five losers, posting respective losses of nine per cent, 5.59 per cent, 5.38 per cent, 4.76 per cent and 4.55 per cent, were UACN Plc, Flour Mills, UACN Property Development Company Plc, Courteville Business Solutions Plc and Cornerstone Insurance Plc.
Analysts at Afrinvest said the bearish performance was in line with their expectations.
They added that the bearish trend was expected to continue in the absence of a major economic stimulus.