Persistent Bear Run Pushes Nigerian Stock Market to 15-Month Low

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Goddy Egene

The Nigerian equities market slumped to 15-month low yesterday on continuing bear run with the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index (NSE ASI) falling 1.25 per cent to close at 33,611.69, while market capitalisation shed N155.6 billion to close at N12.27 trillion.

The market had lost 2.3 per cent last week in line with the persistent bearish trend. Although some analysts had said the current trend was not necessarily a true reflection of the fundamentals of companies, adding that opportunities still remain in the market.

However, investors appear not to be taking advantage of those opportunities, hence the persistent slide in the market, which has worsened the year-to-date decline to 12.1 per cent.

Some market analysts said investors should trade cautiously in the short to medium term, as selloffs are likely to persist, amidst the brewing political uncertainty, and the absence of a one-off positive trigger.

“However, stable macroeconomic fundamentals remain supportive of long term gains,” they said.

Others noted that they envisage a negative close to the market this week due to continued sell offs, in the absence of any significant market information to sway the market the other way.

In all, 21 stocks depreciated compared with 11 others that depreciated. Nestle Nigeria Plc led the price losers with 9.6 per cent trailed by Forte Oil Plc with 9.2 per cent, while Regency Alliance Insurance Plc with 8.7 per cent.

Other top price losers included: Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc(7.6 per cent); Law Union and Rock Insurance Plc(7.4 per cent); NEM Insurance Plc (6.9 per cent); Continental Reinsurance Plc (6.2 per cent) Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc (4.0 per cent) and Wema Bank Plc (3.5 per cent).

On the positive side, SUNU Assurance Plc led the price gainers with 10 per cent, trailed by Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc (7.4 per cent); Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (5.5 per cent) and University Press Plc (4.1 per cent) and Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc (3.7 per cent).

Meanwhile, activity level weakened as volume and value traded declined 11.8 per cent and 35.5 per cent to 137.6 million shares and N1.4 billion respectively. Diamond Bank (30.1 million shares), UBA (16.7 million shares ) and GTBank (11.2 million shares ) were top traded by volume while GTBank (N390.9 million), Nigerian Breweries (N218.8 million) and Zenith Bank (N136.6 million) were top traded by value.Performance across sectors was bearish as all sectors tracked closed on bearish note led by the NSE Consumer Goods Index led decliners with 3.7 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index shed 2.1 per cent among others.