Sell pressures in the shares of Dangote Cement, Stanbic and Unilever left the benchmark index in the negative zone Thursday as the All Share Index (ASI) edged 0.11 per cent lower to settle at 27,052.93 points while YTD loss worsened to -13.9 per cent.
Consequently, investors lost N15 billion with market capitalisation at N13.183 trillion. However, activity level was mixed as volume traded declined 0.8 per cent to 233.19 million units, while value traded rose 10.5 per cent to N3.6 billion respectively in 4,331 deals.
The most actively traded stocks were GT Bank which sold 42.49 million shares valued at N1.09 billion, Transcorp with 37.86 million shares worth N33.12 million and Access Bank which transacted 22.10 million shares valued at N130.09 million
Also, only 1 of 6 indices posted gains at the trading session with various sectors closing bearish.
Leading the laggards, the Consumer Goods index lost 1.1 per cent following losses in Unilever (-10.0 per cent), followed by the Banking and Insurance indices that lost 0.9 per cent apiece due to sell-offs in Wapic (-7.7 per cent) and Stanbic IBTC (-10.0 per cent).
Trailing the major losers was the Industrial Goods index which declined 0.2 per cent on the back of sell pressures in WAPCO (-4.1 per cent). In contrast, the AFR-ICT index, bouyed by gains in MTNN (+4.5 per cent), climbed 2.5 per cent higher, while the Oil & Gas index closed flat.
Meanwhile investor sentiment as measured by market breadth strengthened as 9 stocks gained as against 23 stocks that lost.
The top gainers at the session were CCNN (+9.4 per cent), Unity Bank (+7.8 per cent) and Livestock feeds (+7.3%), while the top losers were ETI (-10.0 per cent), Unilever (-10.0%) and Redstarex (-10.0 per cent).
Traders say, “In the absence of any major stimulus, we expect the extant negative performance to end the week. Nonetheless, we see opportunities for bargain hunting in stocks with sound fundamentals.”