The Nigerian stock market recorded a N294bn decline on Tuesday, nearing its lowest level in two weeks.
The market was dragged down by losses in banking, cement and fast-moving consumer goods sectors, as some investors took profits from previous gains in the market, traders said.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation declined to N12.786tn from N13.080tn recorded on Monday, as the NSE All-Share Index closed at 37,096.60 basis points from 37,950.96 basis points.
A total of 391.625 million shares valued at N5.436bn were traded in 5,285 deals.
The ASI, thus, declined by 2.25 per cent, bringing it down to a level that was last seen on August 3, 2017.
The Nigerian equities market continued its negative trend to settle the year-to-date return at 38.04 per cent. Also, the volume of transaction and market turnover declined by 23.88 per cent and 28.69 per cent, respectively. Eleven stocks made the gainers’ list, while and 36 recorded losses.
The market had rallied for eight consecutive weeks and peaked at a 33-month high last week before profit takers took advantage of the gains to sell their holdings.
“The market was just reflecting global trend in the last few days, which has seen many major stock markets falling,” the Chief Executive Officer, Trust Yields Securities, Rasheed Yussuff, was quoted by Reuters as saying.
He said it was normal for the market to experience some bearish moment having been rising for almost two months.
Low stock valuation and the relative stability in the foreign exchange market over the last few months have helped to draw many offshore investors into the equity market, leading to a surge in the domestic equity market.
The equity market has benefitted from the recovery in liquidity on the currency market with the introduction in April of a new forex window for investors to trade the naira at market-determined rates.
Equally, most of the gains over the last two weeks were driven by increases in profitability announced by many major listed companies.
At the close of trading on Tuesday, Morison Industries Plc, PZ Cussons Plc, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc and Nascon Allied Industries Plc emerged as the top losers, shedding 8.16 per cent, five per cent, five per cent, 4.96 per cent and 4.96 per cent, respectively.
Berger Paints Plc, GlaxosmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc, Golden Guinea Breweries Plc, Conoil Plc and Learn Africa Plc emerged the top five gainers, appreciating by five per cent, five per cent, 4.71 per cent, 3.99 per cent and 3.80 per cent, accordingly.
Sector performance as measured by the NSE indices showed that the NSE industrial, NSE banking, NSE food/beverage, NSE insurance and NSE oil/gas indices declined by 4.15 per cent, 1.25 per cent, 1.02 per cent, 0.95 per cent, and 0.39 per cent, respectively.
“Activities in the equities market mirrored Monday’s performance, with the market being awash with sell sentiments as investors continued to cash-out on counters that rallied in the past week,” analysts at Meristem Securities said in a post.