The domestic equities market maintained its downward trend at the close of transactions on Friday, recording losses on three of five trading days of the week.
Consequently, the All Share Index (ASI) fell 1.1 per cent to close at 27,755.87 points Week-on-Week. As a result, the market’s Year-to-Date (YTD) return declined to 3.4 per cent while investors lost N163 billion as market capitalisation reduced to N14.455 trillion.
Also, activity level waned as the average volume and value traded fell 38.1 and 40.2 per cent respectively to 182.4 million units and N2.4 billion.
Performance across sectors was lacklustre as only one of the six indices gained. The Consumer Goods Index (-6.5 per cent) led the losers’ chart due to price declines in Guinness (-16.6 per cent), Vitafoam (-12.1 per cent) and Nestle (-10.0 per cent). The Insurance (-2.2 per cent) and Oil & Gas (-0.7 per cent) indices trailed on the back of sell-offs in Linkage Assurance (-25.8 per cent), MRS Oil (-9.8 per cent) and Oando (-4.2 per cent).
Similarly, price declined in Wema Bank (-8.5 per cent), Sterling Bank (-7.7 per cent) and MTNN (-0.9 per cent) dragged the AFR-ICT (-0.5 per cent) and Banking (-0.2 per cent) indices. On the flip side, the Industrial Goods Index (+0.8 per cent) emerged the lone gainer owing to price appreciation in WAPCO (+1.3 per cent) and BUA Cement (+1.1 per cent).
Meanwhile, a total turnover of 912.175 million shares worth N12.126 billion in 17,083 deals were traded during the week by investors on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to a total of 1.478 billion shares valued at N20.295 billion that exchanged hands last week in 23,263 deals.
The Financial Services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 624.219 million shares valued at N7.129 billion traded in 9,640 deals; thus contributing 68.43 and 58.79 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
The Conglomerates followed with 93.204 million shares worth N452.093 million in 861 deals while the third place was Oil and Gas industry, with a turnover of 59.267 million shares worth N124.638 million in 1,254 deals.
Trading in the Top Three Equities namely, Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc; (measured by volume) accounted for 304.089 million shares worth N5.788 billion in 4,290 deals, contributing 33.34 and 47.73 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
Nineteen equities appreciated in price during the week, higher than 15 equities in the previous week. Thirty-five equities depreciated in price, lower than 49 equities in the previous week, while 109 equities remained unchanged, higher than 99 equities recorded in the preceding week.
On the price chart, 32 equities declined while 19 others gained. Livestock feeds (+16.7 per cent), UCAP (+15.3 per cent) and TransExpress (+11.1 per cent) led the gainers while Linkage Assurance (-25.8 per cent), Guinness (-16.6 per cent) and Vitafoam (-12.1 per cent) led the decliners.
Analysts believe the stock market would continue to experience losses even as they noted that the market would record positivity at the end of the first quarter.
Speaking during the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) first quarter forum in Lagos recently, the Managing Director, APT Securities and Fund Limited, Mallam Kurfi Garba, said that the market is expected to close in double digits by the end of the year 2020.
While offering insights to performance of the market in 2019, Garba explained that the performance of the market on quarterly basis was the worst in the last 10 years with negative returns in all the quarters.
He attributed the performance to the tensed polity in the build up to the 2019 election and dampened investors’ confidence.
According to him, “the All Share Index is likely going to close for the year 2020 in positive and may close in double digits. Both technical analysis and fundamental analysis move to the positive direction. However, the market may experience volatility because of the changes in the reporting financial reports as adopted by the exchange without adequate awareness of the brokers”.
In a note to Sunday Sun, analysts at Afrinvest said: “We believe that the market would continue this downward trend as investors remain shy of equities”.
On their part, Cordros Capital, said: “In our view, the trend witnessed this week is likely to persist, as weakening market sentiment and the absence of positive catalysts are expected to pressure market returns. Nonetheless, we advise investors to take positions in fundamentally justified stocks”.