Following sell-offs in banking stocks, proceedings on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) recorded second consecutive loss as N246 billion was shaved off in two days.
The All-Share Index (ASI) dropped 0.96 per cent to close at 30,771.32 points while Year-to-Date (YTD) performance extended to -2.1 per cent.
The market capitalisation, which opened Thursday’s session at N11.586 trillion fell by N112 billion to close at N11.474 trillion, representing N246 billion loss in two consecutive trading sessions.
Also, activity level declined as volume and value of stocks traded buckled by 21.6 and 27.8 per cent to 169.19 million units and N1.12 billion respectively, exchanged in 3,683 deals.
Similarly, market performance was mostly bearish across sectors as the Oil & Gas index was the lone gainer, up 0.6 per cent propped up by gains in Forte Oil (+9.6 per cent). The Industrial Goods index posted the worst performance, down by 2.8 per cent following losses in CCNN (-4.9 per cent), the Banking index trailed, shedding 2.1 per cent dragged by GT Bank (-4.5 per cent) while the Insurance and Consumer Goods indices also had a downward trajectory, weighed by price depreciation in Sovereign Insurance (-4.8 per cent) and Dangote Sugar (-1.7 per cent).
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 0.5x from 0.9x recorded previously as 24 declining stocks outnumbered 13 gainers. The top performing stocks for the day were Forte Oil (+9.6 per cent), Union Bank of Nigeria (+8.0 per cent) and TransExpress (+7.7 per cent); while Glaxosmithkline (-10.0 per cent), UPL (-9.6 per cent) and MCNICHOLS (-8.5 per cent) performed woefully.
Diamond Bank continued to maintain top spot, selling over 51.94 million shares valued at N107.19 million. Transcorp traded 12.80 million shares worth N15.58 million while Access Bank ranked third with the sale of 11.26 million shares worth N71.39 million.
Traders say that despite the bearish performance of the market, good bargains in fundamentally sound stocks exist and it is expected that investors will take positions in these stocks even as pre-election jitters continue.