Negative sentiments further dominated market performance at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as profit-taking pressure by investors continued, a trend that brought the market to its fifth negative performance in a row.
At the close of the midweek session, equities investors recorded N7 billion loss.
However, market analysts anticipate that a near-term bullish bias may dominate the trading activities as price declines across fundamentally sound counters present opportunities for them to take a position, albeit the spates of selling pressure,
Consequently, benchmark index, the NSE All-Share Index (ASI) fell marginally by four basis points to close at 35,029.82 basis points due to sell-offs in FBN Holding (-0.7 per cent), UBA (-0.6 per cent) and ARDOVA (-8.7 per cent).
Also, the N7 billion loss dragged down the aggregate valuation of equity investments in the market to N18.3 trillion from N18.11 trillion the previous day while market year to date return moderated to 30.5 per cent.
Furthermore, market activity level was mixed as volume traded fell 8 per cent to 283.1 million units while value traded rose 4.5 per cent to N3.4 billion.
The most traded stocks by volume were FBN Holding (40.8 million units), GTB (32.7 million units) and AIICO Insurance (30.1 million units) while GTB (N1.1 billion), Zenith Bank (N698.1 million) and Dangote Cement (N308.7 million) led by value.
Weak sector performance
Also, there was a weak performance across sectors as four out of the six indices declined while the Industrial goods and AFR-ICT indices closed flat.
The Insurance index led laggards, down 1.0 per cent due to sell-offs in Cornerstone Insurance (-3.3 per cent), AXA Mansard (-0.9 per cent) and AIICO Insurance (-0.9 per cent).
Similarly, the Oil & Gas and banking indices declined 0.4 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively following price depreciation in ARDOVA (-8.7 per cent), FBN Holdings (-0.7 per cent) and UBA (-0.6 per cent). Likewise, losses in Champion (-8.2 per cent) dragged the Consumer Goods index 3 basis points lower.
Investor sentiment weakens
Investor sentiment as measured by market breadth (advance/decline ratio) weakened to 0.6x from the 0.8x recorded in the previous session following emergence of 13 gaining stocks gained against the 21 that declined.
FTNCOCOA (+8.8 per cent), Union Development Company (+8.0 per cent) and CHAMS (+4.8 per cent) led the gainers while Royal Exchange (-8.7 per cent), ARDOVA (-8.7 per cent) and Mutual Benefit (-8.3 per cent) led the decliners.
The NSE 30
The NSE 30 Index marginally decreased by 0.02 per cent to close at 1,457.82 points as against 1,458.08 points as on the previous day. Market turnover closed with a traded volume of 167.76 million units. FCMB and Zenith were the key gainers, while Sterling and Ecobank were the key losers.