Stock market reverses gains on sell-offs, weak oil prices

The nation’s equities market lost ₦39.89 billion on Wednesday as the gains recorded in the previous session were pared.

The market capitalisation, which stood at ₦11.255 trillion on Tuesday, dropped to ₦11.215 trillion on Wednesday, while the All Share Index of the Nigerian Stock Exchange declined by 0.35 per cent to settle at 30,704.98 basis points.

At the end of trading on the floor of the Exchange on Wednesday, major benchmarks closed in the red.

The NSE Oil/Gas Index slid by 2.99 per cent, emerging the biggest loser as sinking oil prices hit energy companies.

Oil prices, which hit a one-year low on Tuesday, surged on Wednesday, but this failed to reflect in the performance of oil stocks.

Sell pressures were witnessed in Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc and Total Nigeria Plc.

The NSE Industrial Index was the second biggest loser, with a 1.14 per cent loss due to sell-offs in Dangote Cement Plc.

Similarly, the NSE Banking Index depreciated by 0.21 per cent on the back of major losses witnessed in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.

On the flip side, the NSE Consumer Goods Index was the highest gainer, with a 1.18 per cent gain as major stocks such as Nestlé Nigeria Plc and Nigerian Breweries Plc recorded price appreciation.

The NSE Insurance Index trailed, gaining a marginal 0.23 per cent on the back of gains recorded in Lasaco Assurance Plc and Wapic Insurance Plc.

“The bearish position today is consistent with the undulating trend observed so far in the week,” Analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited said.

“We, therefore, expect some buying interest in bellwethers that have declined to drive market performance towards the end of the week.”

The volume and value traded weakened by 36.4 per cent and 19.5 per cent to 200.997 million units and N4.098bn, respectively.

The top traded stocks by volume were Zenith Bank (51.895 million units), Lafarge Africa Plc (38.652 million units) and FBN Holdings Plc (15.852 million units), while Zenith Bank (N1.2bn), Dangote Cement (N502.7m) and Lafarge Africa (N457.3m) were the top traded stocks by value.

Investor sentiment worsened to 1.3x from 1.8x recorded on Tuesday as the year-to-date loss worsened to -19.7 per cent.

Twenty-three stocks appreciated against 18 decliners.

Forte Oil, which was the second highest gainer on Tuesday, advanced to top the list as the highest gainer on Wednesday, with a 9.85 per cent increase to N26.20 per share.

Diamond Bank Plc’s share price appreciated further, gaining 9.65 per cent as it closed at N1.25.

Access Bank Plc reversed the losses it made on Tuesday as it emerged the 12th highest gainer, with a 2.60 per cent increase to close at N7.90 per share.

Five other banks ― Unity Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc ― were on the gainers’ list, despite the 0.21 per cent decline recorded in the banking index.

Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc was the biggest loser, with a 7.55 per cent share price depreciation.

Abbey Mortgage Bank, Seplat, Jaiz Bank Plc, Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, were the top five losers.

They each recorded price depreciation of 7.55 per cent, 6.53 per cent, 6.12 per cent, 4.76 per cent and 4.29 per cent.

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