The stock market closed 0.46 per cent lower yesterday as investors intensified profit taking on oil and gas stocks. Consequently, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index went closed lower at 26,418.11. Similarly, market capitalisation closed lower at N9.09 trillion.
The market had regained N500 billion within 12 days following renewed interest in oil/gas and banking stocks. However, in an attempt to book in part of the capital appreciation, some investors began to dump their shares. This has sparked off the latest bearish trend that led to a decline of 0.46 per cent in the NSE ASI yesterday.
The negative performance reduced the month-to-date gain to 4.32 per cent and increased the year-to-date decline to 8.02 per cent.
Forte Oil led the price losers with 9.7 per cent, followed by Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and Beta Glass Nigeria Plc with 5.0 per cent in that order.
Market analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said: “The weak performance of the market can be attributed to profit taking activities on oil and gas stocks and negative sentiment towards the banking sector. Going forward, we expect this trend to persist given the dearth of news inflow to sway investors’ reaction.”
In terms of sector performance, all indices closed in the red save for the NSE Industrial Goods Index, which rose 0.59 per cent due to gains in Lafarge Africa Plc (+2.5%).
The NSE Oil & Gas Index led the losers as it fell 3.7 per cent on the back of investors’ continued to cash out on Forte Oil and Seplat. The NSE Consumer Goods Index shed 0.3 per cent lower due to losses in Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc(-3.8 per cent) and Unilever Nigeria (-2.8 per cent). Also the NSE Banking Index shed 0.5 per cent following the loss by ETI(-5.0 per cent) and Stanbic IBTC (-5.0 per cent) and Access Bank (-1.2 per cent).
Meanwhile, the total value of stocks traded on yesterday stood at N10.07 billion, up by 224.74 per cent from N3.10 billion recorded the previous day, while total volume of stocks traded was 421.18 million shares in 3,937 deals.
The most actively traded sectors were: Financial Services (212.34 million shares), Oil and Gas (76.29 million shares) and Consumer Goods (68.35 million shares), while the three most actively traded stocks were: Mutual Benefit (90.22mn), Oando (51.81 million shares) and Fidson(49.35 million shares).