The capitalisation of the equities market fell to a new low of N14.97 trillion, while the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) fell to 41,708.15 yesterday. This followed a bear run that has lasted for seven consecutive days.
Specifically, the NSE ASI fell by 2.41 per cent, the highest decline since the beginning of the year. Similarly, the market capitalisation shed N369.5 billion, propelled by a decline in the shares of bellwether such as Dangote Cement, UBA, Nestle Nigeria Plc, FBN Holdings, and Nigerian Breweries Plc.
Brokers said all sector indices trended southwards amidst lingering sell sentiments.
â€œMarket performance to remain soft in coming sessions with the possibility of a rebound at the end of the week, driven by bargain hunting,â€ they added.
Apart from the index and market capitalisation that closed lower, the level of activity also weakened as volume and value traded fell 9.1 per cent and 29.0 per cent to 470.5 million shares units and N3.7 billion respectively.
The bears were virtually on rampage yesterday as 40 stocks depreciated compared with 15 stocks that appreciated. Prestige Assurance Plc led the price losers with 7.1 per cent, followed by Skye Bank Plc with a decline of 6.5 per cent. Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, FCMB Group Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc went down by 6.1 per cent, 5.9 per cent and 5.5 per cent in that order.
Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc, Royal Exchange Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc shed 5.0 per cent each. Forte Oil Plc declined by 4.9 per cent, just as Fidson Healthcare Plc, Dangote Cement Plc and Sterling Bank Plc lost 4.8 per cent apiece.
The stocks that escaped the bear run were led by A.G Leventis Nigeria Plc with 7.0 per cent, trailed by Berger Nigeria Plc with 5.0 per cent, just as Eterna Plc appreciated by 4.9 per cent.
Other top price gainers included: NAHCO Plc (4.8 per cent); Linkage Assurance Plc (4.5 per cent); Access Bank Plc (3.9 per cent); African Prudential Plc (3.8 per cent); May & Baker Nigeria Plc (3.3 per cent).
Meanwhile, all the sectors closed bearish. The NSE Consumer Goods Index led with a decline of 2.8 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index fell 1.6 per cent, while the NSE Insurance Index closed 1.5 per cent lower.
In the same vein, the NSE Oil & Gas Index and NSE Banking Index shed 0.6 per cent and 0.2 per cent in that order.