The Nigerian STOCK MARKET on Wednesday dropped to a two-year low level as the All Share Index of stocks declined by 0.82 per cent.
The ASI closed at 27,083.11 basis points, a level last seen in May 2017.
The market saw its ASI close at bps on May 5, 2015.
After resumption from the two-day break due to the Sallah celebration, trading resumed on the floor of the NSE on Wednesday, closing on a negative note.
Performance of the market was dragged by major losses in the banking and oil and gas indices.
Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said price depreciation in MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Guaranty trust Bank Plc and FBN Holdings Plc dragged the benchmark index southwards as the year-to-date loss worsened to -13.8 per cent.
Consequently, investors lost N109bn as market capitalisation fell to N13.198tn from N13.307tn on Friday.
Activity level was mixed as volume traded rose by 6.5 per cent to 235.117 million units while value traded declined by 26.5 per cent to N3.291bn.
The top traded stocks by volume were GTB (49.9 million units), Zenith Bank Plc (34.7 million units) and Access Bank Plc (33.2 million units) while the top traded stocks by value were GTB (N1.3bn), Zenith Bank (N563.7m)and Dangote Cement Plc (N347.8m).
Performance across sectors was poor as only one index closed on a positive note.
The industrial goods index led losers, shedding 1.6 per cent on the back of losses in Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc and Lafarge Africa Plc.
The banking index declined by 1.3 per cent due to losses in GTB and FBN Holdings, while the oil and gas index plunged by 1.1 per cent due to major losses recorded in Total Nigeria Plc and Oando Plc.
The AFRI-ICT index declined by 0.8 per cent due to sell pressures witnessed in MTN Nigeria.
The consumer goods index also pared 46bps due to price depreciation in Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc.
On the flip side, the insurance index emerged the only gainer, up by 0.5 per cent following buying interest in Continental Reinsurance Plc.
Investor sentiment, as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio), weakened to 0.1x from 0.7x recorded at the close of last week as four stocks gained against 27 stocks that lost.
The four gainers recorded were Continental Reinsurance, Custodian Investment Plc, Africa Prudential Plc and Union Bank Nigeria Plc.
The top five losers were UACN Property Development Company Plc, NPF Microfinance Bank Plc, Flour Mills, Total Nigeria and Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc.
Analysts at Afrinvest said they maintained a bearish outlook for the rest of the week in the absence of any major catalyst.
However, they said there were opportunities for bargain hunting in stocks with sound fundamentals.
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