The All-Share Index (ASI) and market capitalisation slumped by 1.27 per cent over sustained selloffs pressure and low turnover at the close of trading last week, following negative sentiments on medium and high cap stocks.
The stock market recorded three consecutive sessions of downturn last week, due to absence of positive catalyst to stimulate buying interest and trigger bargain hunting in the market.
For instance, at the close of trading on Tuesday, at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), ASI depreciated by 222.36 absolute points to close at 30,099.83 points, while the market capitalisation depreciated by N98 billion to close at N13.256 trillion.
The downturn rode on the back of losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which were Mobil Nigeria, Dangote Cement, MTN Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries and Dangote Sugar Refinery.
On Thursday, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) resumed trading after the one-day holiday to mark the Democracy Day celebration with 0.23 per cent decline on losses in 15 stocks.
The index shed 70.68 absolute points, representing a dip of 0.23 per cent to close at 30,029.15 points, while the market capitalisation shed N31 billion to close at N13.225 trillion.
The downturn was led by price depreciation in medium and large capitalised stocks, among which were Nestle Nigeria, Dangote Cement, Presco, Dangote Cement, CI Leasing, Dangote Sugar Refinery and UAC of Nigeria (UACN).
The continued downturn, however, was attributed to apathy and low confidence by investors, who have adopted a “wait-and see” approach to investment due to lack of policy direction on the part of the government.
Analysts at the weekend, predicted gloomy market outlook, as investors and fund managers rebalance their portfolios, with eyes fixed on political environment and ongoing quarterly earnings position as well as post-election market dynamics.
However, they argued that the drop in prices of major blue chips in recent times has created entry opportunities for investors to increase their portfolio and position for future price appreciation.
Specifically, analysts at Investdata Consulting Limited, said: “Investors should expect mixed performance and downtrend to continue until bargain hunters hit the market again, as discerning investors take advantage of low valuation to rebalance their portfolio ahead of March year-end numbers and second half interim dividend stocks.
“They may also take into consideration the expected economic reforms as the new cabinet are set to start running and the plans of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reduce banks’ participation in government securities while boosting private sector lending to drive economic activities and investment. “
Also, analysts at Codros Capital Limited, said: “We reiterate our view that the blend of a compelling valuation story, together with positive macroeconomic picture, leaves scope for market recovery in the medium term. However, we guide investors to tread the cautious trading path in the short term.”
Further breakdown of lastweek’s trading showed that all other indices depreciated with the exception of the NSE Banking Index, NSE Insurance Index, NSE-AFR Bank Value Index and NSE Oil/Gas Index which appreciated by 0.01per cent, 0.86 per cent, 0.23 per cent and 0.28 per cent respectively while NSE ASeM Index closed flat.
A turnover of 868.739 million shares worth N15.792 billion was recorded in 12,201 deals, higher than a total of 768.983 million units valued at N12.546 billion that changed hands in 11,291 deals during the preceeding week.
The financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 674.654 million shares valued at N9.295 billion traded in 6,651 deals; thus contributing 77.66 per cent to the total equity turnover volume.
The ICT industry followed with 69.205 million shares worth N3.352 billion in 769 deals.
The third place was consumer goods industry with a turnover of 51.550 million shares worth N2.342 million in 1,915 deals.
Trading in the top three equities namely, Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank Plc, and Wapic Insurance Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 359.451 million shares worth N7.774 billion in 2,252 deals, contributing 41.38 per cent to the total equity turnover.